SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose just became the biggest city in California to ban flavored tobacco products.
The city unanimously approved the ordinance Tuesday night.
The city will join Oakland and San Francisco as Bay Area cities with bans in place to get rid of these products, including vapes at smoke shops.
The ordinance also bans any new tobacco shops from opening up within 1,000 feet of a school, community center, park, or library.
There are currently 100 cities in California that ban flavored tobacco.
San Jose has yet to vote on making it illegal to smoke those tobacco products inside apartment complexes with three or more units.
The influence behind the vote, the city as well as health officials say, is the effect it has on teenagers.
They said when teenagers are introduced to smoking, usually, it is through flavored tobacco products because they’re tasty like cotton candy. Teenagers also say they taste like fruit as opposed to conventional cigarettes.
Vape makes it even easier for teenagers to consume, which is why the city wants to remove this from the store shelves.
The ban will not take effect immediately.
The city will give retailers until June 30, 2022, to make adjustments to get flavored tobacco off their shelves and to find other ways to make money in place of those products.
City officials say flavored tobacco is bad for teenagers, but they also think it disproportionally hits the Black and Latino communities harder compared to other communities.
In the meantime, Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking to make flavored tobacco a statewide ban. If passed, of course, the tobacco industry will be fighting back against that.