San Francisco’s Proposition E proposes to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products throughout San Francisco.
The Board of Supervisors already voted for this ban last year. But tobacco companies didn’t like that decision. So they gathered enough signatures to put the decision in the hands of the voters instead.
If it passes, Proposition E will put into effect the original supervisors’ decision — to ban the sale of flavored tobacco — including flavored hookah products, flavored liquids used in vaping, and even menthol cigarettes.
If it fails, the Supervisor’s ban is nullified.
National and local health organizations support Proposition E. They say flavored tobacco products hook people into becoming smokers. That’s especially true for kids: 80 percent of young people who smoke say their first cigarette was a menthol one.
So far, they’ve poured more than $9 million dollars into defeating this proposition. And they’ve assembled a coalition of local smokers and retailers. These smokers say banning certain kinds of cigarettes sounds a whole lot like the old alcohol prohibition.
Some African-Americans smokers also say the ban is unfair because a large majority of black people who smoke are smokers of menthol cigarettes.
Retailers say it will hurt their businesses.
So if you support a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, vote YES on Proposition E. If you oppose the ban, vote NO.