May 31, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Tobacco Companies Fear Local Laws Ending the Sale of Flavored Products Like SF Proposition E Even More than Tobacco 21

The best measure of the effectiveness of a tobacco control policy is how hard the tobacco companies fight it.  This is an even better measure than fancy statistical analysis by people like me because, after all, nobody knows the tobacco business better than the tobacco companies.

The importance of local flavor bans like San Francisco Proposition E (supported by health groups, opposed by RJ Reynolds Tobacco) was reinforced in Illinois when the tobacco industry agreed to drop its opposition to a state Tobacco 21 law in exchange for preempting local flavor bans (and also prohibiting local governments from setting the tobacco age above 21, which is also remarkable).

The tobacco companies absolutely hate Tobacco 21 laws because they make it harder for them to market to kids.  Their last minute compromise offer in Illinois says that they know that ending the sale of flavored tobacco products will make it even harder for them to recruit kids to nicotine addiction (and sustain industry profits).

Congratulations to the health advocates in Illinois for their legislative victory (61-49-1) in the House to send the bill to the governor) as well as underlining how important the Prop E fight is in San Francisco to breaking new ground in protecting kids from the tobacco industry.


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