San Francisco approves ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids – CNBC

San Francisco residents overwhelmingly voted to uphold a ban on all flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarette liquids.

The city’s supervisors approved the measure last summer, but tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds and a coalition of businesses and industry associations challenged it. Nearly 70 percent of voters supported the ban, according to San Francisco’s election results.

Tuesday’s vote ends a campaign that pitted Big Tobacco against former New York mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg and public health groups. R.J. Reynolds, the maker of best-selling menthol cigarette brand Newport, poured more than $11.6 million into the effort. Bloomberg donated $1.8 million of the $2.3 million raised by supporters of the ban.

The results could spark momentum for other cities to pursue similar legislation. At the very least, it is a reminder of the growing scrutiny around the role flavors play in attracting people to tobacco and nicotine products.

“San Francisco’s groundbreaking law stands – and will stop the tobacco industry from targeting kids, African Americans and other populations with menthol- and candy-flavored products, as the industry has done for

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