#BigTobacco wants cigarettes treated the same as candy in San Francisco

Big tobacco is coming for San Francisco. Less than a month after a law banning flavored tobacco sales — including menthol — was approved by the Board of Supervisors, the tobacco industry is gathering signatures to overturn it.

The draft title of a proposed measure, “Referenda: Repeal of Ordinance Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products” was filed Friday with the Department of Elections.

“We’re trying to overturn the ban,” said Jaime Rojas, a spokesperson for the newly formed Let’s Be Real San Francisco campaign, who added that the “government has overreached on this issue.”

Supervisor Malia Cohen, who authored the measure, previously told the San Francisco Examiner that the goal of the ordinance is to keep people from smoking in the first place.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation in late June that prohibits retailers from selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, flavored chewing tobacco and flavored liquids containing nicotine used in electronic cigarettes.

Flavored tobacco has been found to disproportionately impact the LGBT and black communities.

The measure needs 20,000 signatures by Aug. 7 to qualify the ballot. The next scheduled election is June 2018.

Source: San Francisco Examiner

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