BANGOUR — The city of bangor issued an order prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products from the June 1. But now the city must push back the ban to a later date, after failing to notify businesses.
“The ordinance that was passed here did not imply or give the 30-day notice required by law for tobacco licensees,” said city attorney David Szewczyk.
Bangor City Council originally planned to ban all flavored tobacco products from the June 1.
Now they plan to repeal the current ordinance to enact a new one this summer.
“If we don’t repeal this ordinance, it could be confusing for business owners in the city. It’s not something we should be enforcing because we haven’t followed state law with this direct notification,” Deputy City Manager Courtney O’Donnell said.
The drive to ban all flavored tobacco products is part of an effort to prevent teens from becoming addicted.
This includes e-cigarettes and menthol flavored products.
“Children won’t use tobacco flavored products if they don’t have access to them. So the way to make sure that happens is to take it off the market,” said BJ McCollister, campaign manager for Flavor Hook Kids Maine.
According to Maine Integrated survey of young people, nearly 29% of Maine high school students currently use e-cigarettes.
And the number keeps growing.
“The tobacco industry targets children. Their advertisements are designed to attract children. You see vaping stores using back-to-school sales and flavors like cotton candy to get kids hooked on the product,” McCollister said.
Bangor was the first Maine city to ban all sales of flavored tobacco, with Portland and Braunschweig following shortly thereafter.
From now on, O’Donnell said, the city must begin the process of repealing its ordinance.
“The consensus of the council is to repeal the order which will occur on May 9. They will have to waive one of the required readings because once a repeal is passed, it will take 10 days to take effect. If we don’t give up on this reading, we will actually be overwhelmed June 1 date,” O’Donnell said.