Beverly Hills bans sale of tobacco

Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to prohibit the sale of tobacco products in the California city.

Under the ban, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, hotels may only sell to guests. All other businesses “shall stop selling tobacco products,” according to a statement on the City’s website. The ordinance includes a hardship exemption provision for retailers that demonstrate the ban would cause undue hardship.

The regulation also includes a permanent exemption for existing cigar lounges and a City Council review of the impacts on tourism in three years.

Tobacco companies have been under pressure to boost their alternative products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, as consumers increasingly switch from cigarettes. The industry has been under pressure amid renewed calls by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce cigarette nicotine levels and calls to raise the minimum age for tobacco purchases, including e-cigarettes, to 21 from 18. MDT/Bloomberg

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