This just in from the Berkeley City Clerk's office. The regular meeting for September 26th has been canceled.
Another day, another flavor ban. Berkeley, CA is introducing a flavor ban similar to San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro, and Contra Costa County. The first hearing on this matter will be on October 3rd at 4PM at the Berkeley City Hall in the Council Chambers, located at 2134 Martin Luther King JR. Way.
Despite many years of work on kicking butts of the cigarette variety, many trusted institutions have opted to disregard science in favor of prohibition. Smokers and those who’ve transitioned to vapor products are quickly becoming casualties of THEIR war on smoking. Media campaigns, testimony and the overall message from public health has been that smoking is no longer a problem, but e-cigarettes are.
As previously announced, a ballot committee has been formed to address the "flavor ban" ordinance in San Francisco to force a public referendum. For details on what this means, please check our Q&A. Since that announcement, signature gathering has started in order to get the nearly 20,000 required signatures to file. As of today, that goal has been accomplished!
Over the last few months, Not Blowing Smoke has spearheaded the fight against the local flavor bans in the San Francisco Bay Area along with a wider coalition of consumer, industry and small business partners. We have continued working closely with our colleagues and are excited to jointly unveil the beginning of a new campaign.
In the wake of the city’s passage of an ordinance that would ban the sale of most vaping products and e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and other tobacco products, a group of concerned residents, including small business leaders, retailers, adult consumers, and free choice advocates have announced the formation of Let’s Be Real, San Francisco.
Flavor bans are about to happen in San Francisco, Oakland, San Leandro, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, and Contra Costa County. We will be telling elected officials and media in the Bay Area that Adults Like Flavors! Be part of this fight while having some good food, fun, and flavors!
The meeting over at the C3-PH today was a bit chaotic and I guess what they really mean with "informal" is lots of people all trying to have a say and things being a little... disorganized. There were about 40 or so people there in total and only two ladies from the department. I noticed in the round of quick introductions that none of the body parts (ALA, ACS, etc.) folks were there which I thought was a little odd unless they already had done all their groundwork with them. And, indeed, as I suspected, they have.
I suspect that any material and policy suggestions provided to you that refer to a prohibition of flavored e-liquid may be a little outdated. Based on the model ordinances, such as those created by Change Labs in Oakland, and often lobbied for by public health organizations, argue that a prohibition of flavored e-liquid is based on preventing youth access to these products.
Heads up everyone, Contra Costa County Health Services is having a meeting to discuss prohibitions on the sale of flavor tobacco products, which of course includes all forms of vapor products. They are looking for input on the matter. Below is the letter that they have sent out to retailers in the affected areas, which spans all of unincorporated Contra Costa County.