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Beverly Hills considers banning the sale of tobacco products

07 May 2019. The California city has announced that it is considering banning the sale of tobacco products, which would make it the first in the nation to ratify such a ban, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The Beverly Hills City Council recommended a draft ordinance on 7 May, which would exempt only three existing high-end cigar lounges, according to the report. The proposal suggests banning the sale of tobacco products from 21 January 2021.

CBS Los Angeles reported that a first reading of the decree and a formal council vote will take place on 21 May, which will then be followed by a second reading and final vote on 4 June.

“Given that no other city in the United States has adopted a comprehensive ban on all tobacco products, the city is likely to face legal challenges,” the report said.

Beverly Hills has already banned smoking in some locations and the sale of flavoured tobacco throughout the city.

According to the report, in addition to the cigar lounges, there are 25 active city permits for the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes in grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, convenience stores and pharmacies.

The chamber of commerce, the tourism bureau and a group representing the Rodeo Drive shopping district spoke out against the ordinance in a joint letter, stating that about 80 per cent of visitors are from cities outside the US where smoking is popular.

“To staff’s knowledge, there is no reliable data available to accurately measure the extent to which tourism in Beverly Hills could be affected,” according to the city report.