The District of Columbia’s City Council will have the the second reading on its bill to ban flavored vaping products tomorrow. If the resolution passes, it will be sent to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk to be signed into law. The mayor has indicated that she intends to sign the bill.
This ban would apply across the full spectrum of tobacco products, including combustible, non-combustible and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Notably, the Council skipped holding a public hearing on the bill, which is a departure from governing body’s standard processes.
The bill includes a provision that allows the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute suspected violations of the ban as well as fines associated with the sale of flavored products. The Council Office on Racial Equity reviewed the bill and determined that while it “has the potential to advance racial equity by improving health outcomes, enforcement of the bill has the potential to exacerbate racial inequity in economic and social justice outcomes.”
A recent study showed that after San Francisco banned all flavored tobacco products there was a significant increase in youth use of combustible cigarettes compared to cities without flavor bans. The Council voted 9-3-1 during the bill’s first reading during its June 15 legislative session. Bars and restaurants that offer hookah will be exempt.