Flavored tobacco products are moving closer to being banned from Los Angeles retailers with efforts led by the L.A. City Councilman Curren Price to protect the health of African Americans.
Councilmember Price led the charge alongside fellow council colleagues Mark Ridley-Thomas and Marqueece Harris Dawson with a motion presented to City Council to remove an exemption of menthol flavored tobacco and include it in the proposed Citywide ban.
As a representative of a Los Angeles community made up largely of Black and Latino neighbors, Councilman Price emphasized the actions being taken toward the ban are steps that are necessary to protect marginalized communities that have had to bear the brunt of generational effects attributed to the usage of tobacco products.
“It is time for us to cut our losses; there is too much at stake. Our communities are already at a higher risk for stroke, heart disease, and cancer without being enticed by such a highly addictive product,” said Councilman Curren Price. “We talk a great deal about disparities that run rampant throughout communities of color and there is no greater burden that wears on disadvantaged communities than with the toll menthol cigarettes has done to the health of the Black community, and it is time to fight back for the sake of saving lives.
The L.A. City Council has asked the City Attorney to proceed with drafting an ordinance outlining the ban of flavored tobacco products in Los Angeles, and will be sent to full Council to vote on later this year.
Staying in line with the recommendations the California State Legislature made last August, which includes a ban on e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco including menthol, the measure will be put into the hands of California voters in 2022.