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SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco adult tobacco users may not have to look elsewhere for flavored tobacco products.
According to the San Francisco Department of Elections, a measure aimed at repealing a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products has qualified to head to voters as a ballot question, reported CBS SF Bay Area.
Last month, Let's Be Real San Francisco launched a referendum to tackle the Board of Supervisor's "flawed tobacco ban so voters can decide." Let's Be Real San Francisco is a coalition of adult consumers, neighborhood retailers and advocates for free choice.
The group needed to submit just under 20,000 verified signatures by today to qualify for the ballot.
The measure will now go to the Board of Supervisors for possible reconsideration of the ordinance banning flavored tobacco, according to the news report.
The board can vote to repeal the ordinance — an unlikely move since its members approved the measure unanimously earlier this summer. If not, the question will appear on the ballot in either a special election or the next scheduled election in June.
As it stands now, city retail outlets would be prohibited from selling any flavored tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes — beginning April 1.
According to the Small Business Commission, there are approximately 726 local retailers — mostly convenience stores and gas stations — that sell tobacco products. In the Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products: Economic Impact Report, the Office of Economic Analysis has estimated the value of flavored tobacco cigarettes that would be affected by the legislation at approximately $50 million per year, as CSNews Online previously reported.