Flavored Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes

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On October 28, 2019, the City Council directed staff to research and draft an ordinance for consideration to ban flavored tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), modeled after the County of San Mateo's recent ordinance.

City Economic Development staff is coordinating with the San Mateo County Tobacco Prevention Program and the San Mateo County Tobacco Education Coalition to better understand the health implications from the use of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products. 

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The financial cost of tobacco use in San Mateo County alone amounted to over $575 million in direct health care expense from 2006-2010. In December 2018, the surgeon general declared the use of e-cigarettes among youth an "epidemic;" 5.3 million kids now use e-cigarettes and 97% of youth users report using flavored products. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration's national youth tobacco survey, the percentage of high school-age youth reporting past 30-day use of e-cigarettes rose by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018. Use among middle school-age children also increased nearly 50 percent.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified several negative health affects in youth using flavored eCigarette products. E-cigarette and Vaping Lung Illness, or EVALI, was identified as one of the most prevalent diseases associated with vaping causing 96% of the youth to be hospitalized. In response to this youth health epidemic the Redwood City City Council will consider adopting an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and e-cigarette products within the City of Redwood City. The purpose of the proposed ordinance is to address the recent increase in use of flavored tobacco products among youth and young adults.

Proposed Timeline and Upcoming Meetings

1st Reading of Ordinance: Monday, July 13, City Council meeting at 7 p.m.

To watch the meeting online, go here.

 Date Action 
Monday, March 9, 2020 City Council Study Session (View here)
May 22 - July 10, 2020 Business Outreach 
July 13, 2020 1st Reading of Ordinance
July 27, 2020 2nd Reading and Adoption of Ordinance
August 27, 2020 Ordinance Effective/Enforcement Begins 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered a flavored tobacco product?

A flavored tobacco product is any nicotine or tobacco product, including but not limited to smokeless/chew, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, vape liquid (used in e-cigarettes), and hookah tobacco, that contains an aroma and/or flavor, such as menthol, mint, fruit, spice, sweet, or a food or drink product (i.e. pancake or cherry slush). 


Contact Us

Don Burrus
Economic Development Manager


More Resources

San Mateo County Flavored Tobacco Ban
Smoke-free San Mateo County
Help Quitting Tobacco
March 9 Study Session Powerpoint

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