During its October 20 meeting, Napa City Council voted unanimously in favor of updating the City’s smoking regulations, including placing a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products within the City, with certain exemptions.
The decision comes after several months of considerations and discussions among City staff and council. City staff worked with local students from the Napa Youth Council as well as representatives from Napa County’s Health and Human Services Department and local business owners to determine recommended actions to present to the City Council. The updated ordinance will also reflect the changes introduced at the State level by SB 793 and signed into law by Governor Newsom which go into effect on January 1, 2021.
“Getting to work with the City to develop these policies was a really empowering experience,” says Hibah Shafi, a member of the Napa Youth Council. “I am happy that we were able to work with city officials to provide insight and take action that will continue to have positive impacts on our community for years to come.”
Fellow Napa Youth Council member Makenzie T. adds, “It is so exciting to know that we played a role in the change that will be occurring, and I am especially looking forward to seeing the positive effect it has on my peers and local community. As a lifelong resident of Napa, I knew we could do better and I am pleased to know that the City thought so too!"
The City Council ultimately approved the repeal and replacement of Napa Municipal Code Chapter 8.20, “Smoking Regulations.” The new chapter will:
• Broaden the purpose statement to include the protection of public health, safety and welfare relating to smoking;
• Introduce definitions that identify the wide variety of tobacco products covered by this section, broaden the definition of smoking to include electronic devices, and define flavored tobacco products among other things;
• Identify the minimum age of 21 for purchase of tobacco products, to mirror California Penal Code Ch. 7.308; and
• Ban the sale of flavored tobacco products within the City of Napa with exceptions stated for loose leaf tobacco, premium cigars, and products sold specifically by hookah tobacco retailers.
“I am proud of the students of Napa that brought this forward to the Council to raise awareness of the issue,” said Mayor Jill Techel. “In particular, I am pleased that we are able to take action against the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in our City. Flavored tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes and vapes, are shown to disproportionately target minors. Banning their sale in the City of Napa is a major step toward protecting our youth and providing a safe and healthy place for our residents.”
The new laws will take effect on January 1, 2021 to mirror the State’s implementation of the new age to purchase tobacco products. For further information, please contact Liz Habkirk, Deputy City Manager, at [email protected].