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September 29, 2021
2 min to read

San Jose Prohibits Flavored Vape and Tobacco Products

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Jim McDonald

San Jose, California has become the largest U.S. city to ban all flavored tobacco and vaping products after a unanimous city council vote Tuesday night. The ban covers vaping products in all flavors except tobacco, menthol cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, but exempts hookah products.

The ban will take effect June 30, 2022. San Jose, considered the “capital of Silicon Valley,” is home to just over a million residents. The city has more than 650 tobacco and vaping retailers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

While San Jose is the largest and most recent U.S. city to ban all flavored tobacco and vaping products, more than 100 California cities have similar laws, including San Jose’s Bay Area neighbors San Francisco and Oakland. Many others have banned flavored vaping products only, as have cities in other states, and four states.


San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to ban flavored tobacco and vaping products in 2018—which led to an increase in youth cigarette smoking. In 2019, San Francisco became the first major city to ban all vapes, including tobacco-flavored vaping products.

The California Assembly passed a ban last year on flavored tobacco and vaping products that was signed into law by the governor and scheduled to take effect earlier this year. But opponents collected enough citizen signatures to send the law to a referendum in 2022.

Massachusetts became the only state to ban flavored tobacco and vaping products in late 2019. New Jersey followed in early 2020 with a ban on flavored vaping products, but legislators dropped their proposed menthol cigarette ban when faced with lost tax revenues. Rhode Island banned flavored vapes—but not cigarettes—a month later, and New York did the same less than about week later.

On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council delayed a scheduled vote on an ordinance that would ban vaping and smoking (including cannabis) inside private apartments in buildings containing three or more units.

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Jim McDonald

Vaping since: 12 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: RY4-style tobaccos, fruits

Expertise in: Political and legal challenges, tobacco control haters, moral panics

Jim McDonald

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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