“This week’s court decision upholding a law banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York City is a victory for the city’s children and young adults, protecting them from these harmful products disguised with sweet flavors and brightly colored packaging. The news comes just before today’s Great American Smokeout, a day intended to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit or to plan in advance and quit smoking on this date.
Federal District Court Judge Colleen McMahon ruled that federal law expressly authorizes localities to restrict the sale of certain tobacco products. Local Law 69 bans the sale of smokeless tobacco products containing flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, herb and spice. The Departments of Consumer Affairs and Health and Mental Hygiene will enforce the ban on the sale of these products, with penalties ranging from fines for a first offense up to suspension of a business’s license for multiple violations.
Upon the enactment of Local Law 69 in 2009, the law was challenged by two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Altria (formerly Philip Morris Companies Inc.), and the Council did not waiver in its tireless fight to safeguard youth from deceptively dangerous tobacco products.
It is outrageous that these companies have profited by jeopardizing the lives of children and young adults for as long as they have. Local Law 69 combats this predatory behavior by protecting a vulnerable group of New Yorkers from exposure to these unsafe products, thus averting the beginning of an addictive and potentially life-long habit. We couldn’t be happier with the court’s ruling.”