BEVERLY HILLS—The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting the sale tobacco products during its meeting on Tuesday, June 3. The ordinance was approved by a 5-0 vote. The ban will go into effect starting January 2021. Beverly Hills is the first city in the United States to pass such restrictions by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.
Canyon News spoke to Public Information Manager Keith Sterling via email on the developing ordinance. Canyon News received a statement from Mayor John Mirisch explaining intentions of the new ordinance.
“This reflects the values of our community, we are a city that has taken the lead on restricting smoking and promoting public health. Somebody has to be first, so let it be us,” said Mirisch.
The decision comes from public input and recommendations from the City’s Health and Safety Commission. Smoking dissolvable products, chewing tobacco, water pipes and electronic cigarets in public will receive penalties.
Gas station owners believe the measure unfairly targets their businesses and might force employee layoffs, while public health advocates argued that the cost is higher in terms of health.
The sale of various tobacco products differs from smoking activities. Residents and visitors of the city can still smoke, but should pursue caution as they may receive citations.
The city of Beverly Hills joined a partnership with Cedars-Sinai to provide a free-of-charge smoking cessation program to individuals living or working in Beverly Hills.
According to a press release from the city of Beverly Hills, key provisions of the Ordinance include:
- A permanent exemption/carve out for existing cigar lounges;
- Effective January 1, 2021, hotels, existing and future, may only sell to guests;
- Effective January 1, 2021, all other businesses shall stop selling tobacco products;
- A hardship exemption provision for retailers that demonstrate the ban would cause undue hardship; and
- City Council review of the impacts on tourism in three years.
Beverly Hills has been awarded an ‘A’ Grade for overall tobacco control by the American Lung Association. The city is collecting information on the current status of smoking and secondhand smoke (including traditional tobacco smoke and electronic cigarette vapor) in the City.
Gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores will no longer be allowed to sale most items containing tobacco. Cigar lounges will be able to sell such products; as well as hotels only through room service.
For more details on current tobacco regulations in Beverly Hills, visit www.beverlyhills.org/smoking.
Written By Sanestina Hunter and Tameara Lewis