Bangor’s Proposed Ban on Flavored Tobacco is Passed by a 6-1 Vote
Once again, Bangor City Councilors have voted to institute a ban on all flavored tobacco products within the city limits.
It's one of the most highly-debated measures in recent years put before Bangor City Councilors. And Monday night's City Council meeting was no exception, with people from all walks of life offering their opinions on the proposal that would ban the display, marketing, or advertising of any and all flavored tobacco and nicotine products in Bangor.
How Did Each Councilor Vote in the Proposal?
The measure passed with a 6 to 1 vote after members of the public were allowed to offer their own input. Council Chair Rick Fournier gave the only 'no' vote on Monday night while Councilor Dan Tremble abstained from the voting because of a conflict of interest. Tremble owns Fairmount Market, which sells tobacco products. The vote takes place at 2:50:00 in this Facebook live video of the meeting.
Didn't Bangor Already Institute the Ban on Flavored Tobacco and Nicotine?
A similar measure was passed by the City Council in October 2021, making Bangor the first municipality in the state to create a flavored tobacco ban. However, councilors failed to properly notify businesses, and the measure was repealed. Council Chair Rick Fournier commented before the vote that he had hoped when the original measure was passed, that other municipalities would have followed suit and perhaps even the state government.
What's the Goal of Passing This Ordinance?
The ban will include all flavored tobacco and nicotine products, including menthol. Supporters say it will help end the targeting of children and young people by tobacco and menthol producers. They particularly focused on vaping products with flavors like Pop-Tarts and Sweet Tarts. Detractors criticized the idea that kids won't try the products simply because they can't buy them in Bangor. In addition, they expressed concern for the welfare of local businesses whose daily sales are dependent on the sale of cigarettes to adults, including menthol tobacco products.
Bangor's new law will take effect on January 1, 2023. First-time offenders will face a fine of $50 to $100. Subsequent offenses, within a 24-hour period, will carry fines of between $300 to $1,000.