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On October 20, 2020, the Napa City Council adopted Ordinance O2020-011 prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products within the City of Napa limits, with certain exceptions. The new law coincides with State regulation changes effective January 1, 2021 resulting from the adoption of SB 793.Retailers are now prohibited from the sale or distribution of any flavored tobacco products and flavored cigarettes, including menthol cigarettes. Certain exceptions are allowed for premium cigars, loose leaf tobacco, and hookah products.
This law affects only retailers – not the use or possession of these products by individuals.
The law will go into effect on January 1, 2021.
The new municipal ordinance language mirrors SB 793, which was approved by Governor Newsom in September and will become state law effective January 1, 2021. In addition to mirroring the State law, the City Council supports these restrictions which will help the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents and visitors to the City of Napa. The Council expressed interest in reducing underage tobacco use, including e-cigarette and vaping devices.
This law represents an important step in reducing health disparities and smoking incidence rates since the tobacco industry has historically targeted sales of flavored products to youth and communities of color. Most youth who start using tobacco products start with a flavored product. Research shows that the flavors keep people using the product even if they desire to quit. This law was passed to limit youth exposure to flavored tobacco products and to support quitting tobacco product use to reduce the burden of the number one cause of death and disease in the country.
Napa Municipal Code 8.20.020 provides the following definitions:
Flavored tobacco product means any product that contains a constituent that imparts a characterizing flavor.
Ordinance 0202-011 allows for exceptions to the prohibition of flavored tobacco products for specific products. These are limited to:
Retailers should note that compliance with State law for flavored tobacco sale restrictions will result in compliance with the Napa Municipal Code as well.
Additionally, the City of Napa’s goal is compliance on all Municipal Code requirements, and will work in partnership with retailers to meet these new requirements. The new code does allow the City to enforce the provisions with methods including administrative penalties and citations if necessary.