Protect Future Generations from Big Tobacco: Restrict Flavors in San Leandro, CA
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"Our mission is to promote health equity and social justice by supporting a diverse alliance of partnerships to help protect Alameda County residents by eliminating the threats of tobacco use and exposure."
San Leandro City Council will vote on MONDAY OCTOBER, 2017! Council Member Lee Thomas announced a new tobacco retailer license program that will: do youth decoy/purchase sting operations for the illegal sale of tobacco to youth below the legal purchase age, end exterior advertising that youth can see, create a minimum pack-size making it less affordable for youth to buy tobacco, and ban flavored tobacco products.
The tobacco industry targets young people and vulnerable communities with flavored tobacco products. Flavors including grape, menthol, cotton candy, bubble gum and gummy bear mask the harsh taste of tobacco and are highly appealing to youth, encouraging young smokers. Tobacco companies have everything to gain from addicting young people, given research showing that the earlier a person starts using tobacco, the higher the risk of addiction, and the harder it becomes to quit.
Additionally, it is no accident that 95% of Black youth smokers report smoking menthol-flavored cigarettes. Tobacco companies have historically targeted Black communities with aggressive marketing of mentholated tobacco products. As a result, African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related disease and death; 47,000 African Americans die annually from smoking-related illnesses, making tobacco the number one cause of death among African Americans. Smoking and tobacco products kill more African-Americans than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drug use, homicide, suicide and other non-tobacco related cancers.
Strong laws like the Tobacco Retail Licensing Program protect youth from accessing flavored tobacco products and are crucial to preventing a lifetime of tobacco addiction. Thank you for putting the health and lives of our children before tobacco industry profits, and ensuring that all of San Leandro’s children get to have the healthy and prosperous lives they deserve.
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