DC Council reintroduces legislation banning flavored electronic smoking devices

DC Council reintroduces legislation banning flavored electronic smoking devices

Washington, D. C. Councilmember Mary Cheh reintroduced the “Flavored Electronic Smoking Device Prohibition Amendment Act” to the DC Council Tuesday, hoping to end the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products inside the District of Columbia.

“It is past time to stop big tobacco from hooking our kids–and adults– with flavored tobacco. During this period of increased social isolation and heightened stress among young people, we especially cannot allow this predatory industry to gain any further foothold in the youth market,” Cheh said. “I urge my colleagues to enact this bill as swiftly as possible.”

The legislation is supported by public health officials, community leaders, and more than 70 local and national organizations. Councilmembers said they are being called on to strengthen the legislation to include menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products and pass the bill immediately.

Previously referred to the Judiciary Committee of the Council, committee members heard five hours of testimony in January 2020, calling for the legislation to include the ban on all flavored tobacco.

“I’m proud to support this legislation. We’re going to act fast to put in place commonsense laws that protect the next generation from getting hooked by big tobacco,” said Councilmember Charles Allen. “Doing so will have enormous benefits for public health.”

Tobacco kills more than 800 DC residents a year, the Council said in a press release.

“I’m joining with my colleagues to support legislation that will end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes,” said Councilmember Vince Gray. “This is not just a public health issue; it is a social justice issue. Big Tobacco has preyed upon people of color in DC for far too long.”