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San Francisco Kids Defeat Big Tobacco

In a major victory for the health and safety of children, San Francisco voters approved Proposition E by 68.4% to 31.6% -- a blowout, effectively upholding the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous ban on ALL flavored tobacco products including electronic smoking devices and menthol flavored cigarettes.

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 “San Francisco voters just sent a clear and resounding message: No amount of deceptive advertising will distract from the fact that candy flavors target kids,” said Melissa Welch, MD, American Heart Association executive leadership team member. “We believe the success of Proposition E will encourage other cities to follow suit and end the sale of candy-flavored tobacco before nicotine addiction claims a new generation of young people.”

The victory of Prop. E is nationally significant because it foreshadows the coming battle against candy-flavored tobacco products. As smoking rates decline, the tobacco industry is making a strategic shift to flavored tobacco products ingested through electronic devices. The strategy relies on the use of candy flavors and packaging – including gummy bear, cotton candy, and chocolate – to lure young people into nicotine addiction. As a result, youth use of candy flavored nicotine is surging in schools across the country, generating national headlines.

Tobacco companies argue that candy flavors are not as dangerous as smoking, but a recent study by University of California, San Francisco found cancer-causing chemicals in the blood of teens who vape candy tobacco. Big Tobacco’s $13 million in spending against Prop. E is a sign that the industry fears other cities will pass similar protections against candy-flavored tobacco and thus threaten the future of the deadly tobacco industry. We know that trends that start in San Francisco tend to travel.

If you are interested in working on this type of campaign in your local community, please email Josh Brown for more details.

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