will no longer give out new tobacco retail licenses, nor allow
for the transfer of licenses to different people or for
different addresses. On the latter, there is an application
process for a "hardship exemption," which would be temporary.
For existing license holders:
The council unanimously agreed on the aspects of
a near total phase out of tobacco product sales in the city. Once there
is final approval, the ordinance will come into force on July 4th, 2019
and by 1/1/21 retailers will no longer be able to sell tobacco. There
are two narrow exceptions: 1) for 3 existing cigar lounges (sales only
to members and only cigars), and 2) hotels may sell to guests through
concierge service, i.e., no retail.
- Pharmacies must stop selling tobacco
- Gas station and convenience stores
must stop selling tobacco by 1/1/21;
- Hotels must stop selling tobacco to
the general public by 1/1/20, but can still sell (by
delivery only, no retail) to hotel guests until 1/1/22;
- Cigar lounges are permanently
exempted. They are defined as: "a retail or wholesale
tobacco shop that (1) contains an enclosed area in or
attached to a retail or wholesale tobacco shop that is
dedicated to the use of cigars and pipes, (2) does not
sell cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping products or flavored
tobacco products, and (3) only permits patrons who are 21
years of age or older to enter the premises.” Side
note: In lobbying for an exemption, the cigar lounges have
brought the attention of the health commission, who wonder
if they are in compliance with existing smokefree air laws.
The new ordinance specifies that the exemption applies only
to lounges that are "operating in compliance with State
law." There are three cigar lounges in the city.
- Grocery and all other others must stop
selling tobacco within 1 year after entry into force.
This will be the first U.S. jurisdiction in modern U.S. history to take this action.