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NEW YORK -- The New York City Council voted earlier this week to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products within the city, going farther than recent federal legislation that bans the sale of flavored cigarettes and their component parts, Examiner.com reported.
The New York ban restricts all flavored tobacco products such as little cigars, chewing tobacco and cigarillos, to close off loopholes through adding flavoring agents to products, city officials said in the report. Menthol-flavored tobacco products are not banned, according to the report.
A spokesperson for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told Examiner.com the mayor supports the legislation, which now goes to his desk. If it is signed into law, any New York City tobacco retailer, including convenience stores, found selling flavored tobacco will be subject to a $2,000 fine for the first offense, and subsequent offenses could result in a loss of its business license.
"No matter how you mask it, smoking tobacco, flavored or not, has irrevocable health effects. Companies are profiting by gambling on the lives of children and young adults, and it's simply unconscionable," Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said in the report. "Our legislation will protect New Yorkers from harmful products disguised with attractive wrapping or sweet flavors and prevent the beginning of an addictive and useless habit."
She added: "Anyone who tells you that these bubblegum, cookie dough, chocolate chip, little cigarillos shaped like a pink lip gloss -- don't tell me that's not targeted at a young girl. These are not being bought by 50-year-old women, the data shows that."
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