REDWOOD CITY, CA – Redwood City prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, as well as the sale of all tobacco products in drugstores.
City council voted 6-1 in a meeting Monday in favor of the ordinance, which affects 58 tobacco retail licensees in the city. The ban would go into effect next April, after a second reading by the council in December.
Senate Bill 793, which banned the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products statewide, was enacted by Governor Gavin Newsom in August 2020, but was suspended after a successful veto referendum.
Instead of a statewide ban, eight cities in San Mateo County – Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, San Carlos, San Mateo, and South San Francisco – have passed flavored tobacco ordinances, and the City of Pacifica is also considering one, according to a report from Redwood City staff.
The Redwood City ordinance also prohibits new hookah lounges from obtaining permits to sell flavored tobacco for on-site consumption, although it provides an exception for current hookah lounges. Council member Lissette Espinoza-Garnica opposed that part of the ordinance as she voiced the only vote disagreeing, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal.
“Ask how many council members want to ban wine bars and see what they think about it,” Espinoza-Garnica said at the meeting, according to the Daily Journal. “I don’t want us to shame each other on the basis of cultural prejudices.”
Click here to read the staff report and here for the order.