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City leaders seek to push ordinance to ban sale of flavored tobacco in Chula Vista

Posted at 11:36 AM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 14:36:54-04

City leaders are planning to join community advocates to push for an ordinance that would ban flavored tobacco from being sold in Chula Vista.

“The tobacco industry knows the traditional tobacco use is declining and they need to come up with a new gimmick to hook future generations of customers,” says Adrian Kwiatkowski.

He is with the San Diegans versus Big Tobacco Coalition. He says the tobacco industry is targeting young children with how flavored tobacco is packaged.

“Let's be honest the variety of flavors are targeted towards young people. From the multi-color packaging the flavors and names. And candy-like themes to create future customers by hooking young people.“

Recent data shows more than 2 million kids used e-cigarettes in 2021, and 85% used flavored tobacco products. Here in San Diego, one in four high school students uses e-cigarettes.

The City of San Diego, the County, and the City of Imperial Beach have already banned flavored tobacco from being sold in its stores.

Kwiatkowski says the Chula Vista City Council will vote on a similar ordinance on Tuesday.

"At the end of the day, we need to work towards reducing the consumption of tobacco products as a society and that's what we're focusing.“

The state is pushing for a similar ban statewide, but opponents have said a ban like this would hurt small businesses and eliminate necessary tax revenue.