Columbus passes ban on flavored nicotine products

Columbus City Council voted unanimously to end the sale of flavored tobacco products Monday night.

The Coalition to End Tobacco Targeting advocated for legislative change to restrict sales of flavored tobacco products.

“According to the latest data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 85% of youth e-cigarette users use flavored products,” a spokesperson for Paul Werth Associates, Inc. said.

The higher rate of youths using flavored nicotine products has been an active targeting champaign by the tobacco industry, a World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson stated in a news release two years ago.

“Every year the tobacco industry invests more than USD 9 billion to advertise its products. Increasingly, it is targeting young people with nicotine and tobacco products in a bid to replace the 8 million people that its products kill every year,” the WHO spokesperson said.

Tobacco lobbyists even began pressuring Ohio lawmakers to pass legislation that would nullify protections intended to shield children from being targeted, the spokesperson for Paul Werth Associates said.

“The seven members of Columbus City Council did the right thing by standing up for children’s health this week,” former Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman said.

The ban will begin on January 1, 2024 and will include menthol cigarettes as well as flavored vaping products.