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Beverly Hills Makes a Novel Move Against Tobacco

In 2021, most sales will be banned
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 5, 2019 1:01 PM CDT
In this July 17, 2012 file photo, Marlboro cigarettes are displayed in Montpelier, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

(Newser) – Beverly Hills has become the first US city to end most tobacco sales. The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to snuff out sales of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products beginning in 2021. The ban covers sales at gas stations and pharmacies as well as convenience and grocery stores. However, it exempts hotels and three plush cigar lounges in the wealthy and glamorous Los Angeles suburb. The AP explains the hotel exemption was designed to accommodate tourists, who could have room service deliver their smokes—although they'd have to smoke them outside.

Gas station owners opposed the measure, saying it unfairly targeted their businesses and might force employee layoffs. Public health advocates argued that the cost is higher in terms of health. The Los Angeles Times reports the city has long been extremely tough on tobacco: Smoking has been banned in restaurants since 1987, and doing so in apartment buildings and sidewalks is currently prohibited. The Times predicts "a wave of copycat laws in small municipalities around the country."

(Read more tobacco stories.)

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