City Council Bans All Tobacco Sales in Beverly Hills
Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have the first 100%* outright tobacco sales ban approved in the United States. The Beverly Hills City Council approved the measure June 5th which stops retailers from selling tobacco products in the city beginning Jan 1, 2021. This is important to note even here on the East Coast because these types of ordinances tend to spread quickly.
“This applies to everyone! … Except them!”
The “100%” comes with a qualifying asterisk because despite using public health as their headline, it’s tailored not to affect tourists or wealthy enthusiasts. For example, there are specific exceptions made in the ordinance to allow Beverly Hills cigar lounges to continue operating. There are also exemptions built in for hotels who sell tobacco products to guests. The ban will extend to cigarettes and vapor products as well as cigars – at least those not sold in the luxury cigar lounges above.
In Beverly Hills public health issues extend to all, unless you’re at the extended stay. If a ban is going into effect to “protect public health,” then it should protect everyone equally. This is the Council saying, “we care about your health unless it forces a dip in tourism dollars.” I think you’ll agree that’s hypocritical to say the least.
You can’t handle the choices!
If you tune in here often, you’ll know that I am generally always against a government body taking away your right to make choices for yourself. Councilwoman Lili Bosse is committed to doing exactly that, and her resentment towards those impacted is thinly veiled. "People’s right to smoke is obviously something we hold sacred," she said. "What we’re saying is we’re not going to take part in selling it. They are not going to buy it in our city."
The city of Beverly Hills is telling its residents and workers that the City Council knows best. Since they have your best interests at heart, let them take away temptations to do what they don’t like. They’re saying that Beverly Hills residents are incapable of resisting the evils of nicotine, so they’ve got to stop it from even being sold. Its condescending and ingenuine, especially combined with carve-outs in the law to protect some tobacco sales.
Maybe it’s not all bad?
Now, I’m not here just to bash the City Council. If there are fewer people smoking and becoming ill, that’s a good. One of the things that many articles on the subject missed was that the city will offer what appears to be a free tobacco cessation product for all who would like to participate. However, whether or not the city is implementing an effective and evidence-based approach is unclear until more details are revealed about the cessation program. That’ll be another story for another day.
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