Portland Moves Towards Banning Flavored Tobacco Products

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Portland, Maine, is planning to join the growing national movement to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes because of public health concerns about marketing targeting children and marginalized people.

A city health committee voted to move the proposed ban to the city council on Tuesday. The city council will likely vote on the bill next month or at the beginning of next year, The Portland Press Herald reported.

If the proposal passes then it would go into effect in June 2022, joining Bangor as another Maine city to adopt a flavored cigarettes ban.

Portland's proposal is following two bills that proposed a statewide ban on flavored tobacco products but failed to move forward in the Maine Legislature.

The proposed ban would prohibit the sale and consumption of flavored tobacco products, which includes any smell or taste relating to fruit, menthol and candy.

Kirsten Goodrich, who runs the city’s tobacco prevention program said that 85% of Black smokers and 36% of LGBTQ smokers use flavored cigarettes products. The ban is “critical to promote health equity,” she said.

Anyone who would violate the ordinance would be fined $100 to $500 for each offense, the newspaper said.