Bangor bans flavored tobacco sales

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 11:46 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Bangor City Council has again passed an ordinance banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in the city.

The vote was 6-1 Monday night.

Council Chair Rick Fournier was the lone opposing vote.

Fellow councilors ruled that Councilor Dan Tremble, who owns Fairmount Market, could not vote due to a conflict of interest.

Bangor retailers will no longer be able to sell, display, market or advertise any flavored tobacco products, a broad category that includes menthol.

The ordinance institutes a fine between $50-$100 for first offenders, with further fines between $300-$1,000 for subsequent violations in a 24-month span.

The meeting lasted three hours and featured extensive council and public comment.

”I think the decision we have to make tonight is completely crystal clear,” said Councilor Joseph Leonard. “When the U.S. Department of Treasury, the CDC, the FDA and the federal health officials have already decided that the federal government needs to ban the sale of these products, we have to follow their lead.”

“To a large degree, it is about parenting and teaching kids right from wrong, and keeping them on that path,” Council Chair Rick Fournier said. “I firmly believe it is more of a state issue and a national issue, and I think that’s where it should come from.”

Last October, Bangor was the first municipality in Maine to enact such an ordinance.

However, it was discovered that the Council failed to properly notify affected businesses, and the ordinance was repealed.

The new ban takes effect January 1, 2023.

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