Mono County enacts new tobacco ordinances

Press release

On Tuesday, April 17th, Mono County became the 19th community in California to prohibit the sale of flavored and menthol tobacco products in unincorporated area stores.

In recent years, tobacco companies have significantly stepped up the offerings of flavored tobacco products, especially electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), chew, vaping products and little cigars. These flavored products are undermining efforts to reduce teen tobacco use and put a new generation at risk of nicotine addiction and the serious health harms that result from tobacco use and vaping.

According to tobacco industry documents, flavors of food attractive to children were used to attract new users, primarily youth. While flavored cigarettes are prohibited by Federal law, cigarillos, vaping liquids and chew tobacco are offered in as many flavors as sugary drinks and candies. The FDA approves flavors for eating and drinking, but not for inhaling.

“Flavored tobacco only serves to disguise tobacco and make the toxins go down easier,” confirms Mono County Health Officer, Tom Boo. “And menthol anesthetizes the lung passages, which may allow smokers to inhale more deeply which could have harmful effects.  There is no beneficial effect to smoking or recreational vaping, period.”

To assess the impact of removing flavored and menthol tobacco from stores in unincorporated Mono, last August the Mono County Public Health Department conducted a survey of tobacco retailers in the unincorporated county area. Results indicated that regular tobacco, including chew, were the most requested products and the prohibition of the sales of flavored tobacco products would not be a burden to 10 out of 11 tobacco retailers surveyed. (Two tobacco retailers did not sell flavored tobacco.)

The new County law also created twenty-foot smoke/vape free zones from businesses, in county parks, outdoor dining, special events, county vehicles and several other locations becoming the 104th California community to do so.  With more people expecting protection from secondhand smoke and with fewer and fewer people smoking, 50 out of 70 unincorporated Mono businesses surveyed by the Public Health Department in September 2015 supported the new law.

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10 Responses to Mono County enacts new tobacco ordinances

  1. TBundy May 8, 2018 at 10:29 am #

    “many things go unnoticed under the radar such as the opioid crisis”

    Big money

  2. Trouble May 5, 2018 at 8:34 am #

    What’s next, soda pop, and most good movies?

  3. Jeff Sessions May 5, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    JUULing is a dangerous form of vaping that is sweeping through high schools across the country and the latest de jour topic in the national media. It is almost a welcome relief from the coverage of the Trump and the Stormy Daniel story and the teens “eating Tide pod challenge.” Maybe I just don’t get out enough and I certainly do not hang around teens (or young kids in general as a rule) but I do wonder just how prevalent this is in the Eastern Sierra and if, indeed, it is a real or imagined one, and just another reason to create another law or regulation. I don’t see that many people, at least in public, vaping, but many things go unnoticed under the radar such as the opioid crisis. If anyone would know, it would likely be school officials or local law enforcement. Be nice if they would speak out on the topic.

    • Trouble May 7, 2018 at 11:51 am #

      Jeff, you sound like my third grade teacher. Live and let live.

  4. Mono Person May 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

    Got a question for all commentators – we had a guest stay in one of our motel rooms that has no smoking signs on the door, in the room, etc. He vaped in the room, and said it wasn’t smoking?
    Do we need to change all our signage to “No smoking tobacco, marijuana, and vaping?

    I would think “No Smoking” would have covered it…

    • Rick O'Brien May 5, 2018 at 10:41 pm #

      “VAPING” residue and the smell it produces is almost as bad as tobacco . So just like the “new” signs that have to be put on the restroom doors to accomodate all, I reckon you’ll have to do the same just to cover your 6.

      • Low-Inyo May 6, 2018 at 11:14 am #

        Rick….AND….a couple years back I tried the vaping,thinking,hoping it would make me quit,or at least cut-down on cigarettes…what it ended up doing was make me cough and weez more than before.

      • Mono Person May 6, 2018 at 4:22 pm #

        Ummm, my motels are a tad bit better than a “6”. But I love your reference. Spending more money on things we shouldn’t have to…like handicap pool lifts, that no one uses, or panic buttons for housekeepers, when they could just yell “freak”…

        Bye, California…

        • Charles O. Jones May 7, 2018 at 6:54 am #

          Aren’t pool lifts a requirement of the ADA? All states must comply with ADA.

  5. Tinner May 2, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

    More laws for people to ignore.
    Have police ever cited a smoker for smoking within 20 feet of a business entrance, or do they just ask them to put it out?
    An example, the outdoor seating area in front of Subway and the Looney Bean in Mammoth there are signs all over but people just ignore them and smoke away, often in groups. I gave up pointing out those signs and asking smokers to put their cigarettes out because it usually turns into a confrontation. Instead I just eat or drink fast and get the heck out of there. But there are other areas too.
    The last time pointed out the signs to some young kid and asked him to put out his cigarette he told me “it’s a free country.”
    I guess it just goes to show the lack of common courtesy, and respect for others as well as the law, that exists in our society. It’s too bad police should even have to be called for minor things such as this, I can only suspect they do on occasion, I don’t know.
    I’d like to know the two businesses that do not sell flavored tobacco and support their business.


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