Latest reports confirm that Beverly Hills is the first city in the US to ban the sale of tobacco products. Tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes won’t be available at the usual selling spots: gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies.
This doesn’t include high-end lounges and cigars as they will enjoy special allowances.
According to CNBC, in early June, the Beverly Hills City Council voted to become the first US city to ban the sale of tobacco products the ban will take hold in 2012. Beverly Hills is considered a healthy city and the sale of tobacco increases the access to the dangerous products and destroys this image.
Many say this is a rather controversial decision. Business owners are the first to react. Opponents of this ban say it will harm their sales and result in employee layoffs however, public health advocates say the protection of public health is bigger and more important than the negative effect of this ban on sales.
Council Member Lili Bosse approves this ban, noting that it will confirm the city’s positive image as a health-conscious city. Bosse added that this ban is a real landmark moment for Beverly Hills.
Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, doesn’t agree with Bosse. He said this ban has negative effect on local gas stations and convenience stores.
Briant also explained that tobacco products make up one-third of the sales in convenience stores. By removing this sale, the profitability will go really low. Briant added that this ban will make locals buy their cigarettes and other tobacco products in neighboring towns.
This means that they will also buy gasoline, drinks and snacks there. The ban will have a negative effect on general sales at convenience stores, and that’s bad for the economy.
However, many locals supported the ban because tobacco is one of the worst enemies to overall health. The number of smokers diagnosed with cancer is on the rise, and too many people have lost their life.
Hopefully, Beverly Hills will set up an example for other cities across the country. Banning tobacco is the first step towards building a health-conscious environment, and these people made the right choice. You can’t say you live in a health-conscious city if you are able to buy tobacco products in every store or gas station.