Public hearing on enhanced Elk Grove tobacco restriction continued

A public hearing scheduled for the Wednesday, February 10 Elk Grove City Council meeting on new tobacco sales restrictions was rescheduled.

The item was related to the restrictions of so-called flavored vaping products that are particularly popular with minors. Critics of the flavored tobacco used in vaping devices argue tobacco companies are targeting youth and act as a gateway to other products.

At their January 13 meeting, the city council directed city staff to prepare ordinances that would create a ban on flavored products, excluding methol. The city council also asked to extend a moratorium of issuing licenses to retailers within 1,000 feet of youth-oriented facilities. 

At the January 13 meeting, the city council heard extensive public comments on the matter. While several speakers supported the proposed ban in the interest of health, many speakers argued against the ban.

Those arguing against the ban were primarily employees, trade associations, and owners of tobacco shops, gas stations, and convenience stores. Collectively they argued the ban would hurt their sales and that customers would simply go to shops in nearby unincorporated Sacramento County to make their purchases and would deprive Elk Grove of sales tax revenues.

The announcement of the continuation was at the start of Wednesday's meeting. According to the city clerk, 45 people requested to speak during the hearing.

The public hearing will now be during the February 24 meeting. 

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