Bangor is reviving a proposal to ban flavored tobacco sales after a previous rule the City Council passed was repealed because the city failed to give enough notice to affected tobacco retailers.
The City Council will introduce a new ordinance at its July 25 meeting that would “ban the sale, display, marketing and advertising of flavored tobacco products” and impose fines on vendors who violate it, according to a notice that city solicitor David Szewczyk sent to retailers earlier this month.
That proposal is expected to be referred to the council’s Government and Operations committee, which will then discuss it at a meeting on Aug. 2, where sellers can give public comment, Szewczyk said.
more on flavored tobacco ban
Bangor was required to directly notify local tobacco retailers at least 30 days before it considered the ordinance.
An earlier ban on selling flavored tobacco was set to go into effect on June 1, but city councilors repealed it in April after Szewcyzk said impacted sellers hadn’t been given enough notice under a state law that requires that tobacco retailers be directly notified at least 30 days before a town or city considers a tobacco ordinance that’s more restrictive than state law.
The ban passed in Bangor was the first in the state, and was soon followed by similar policies in Portland and Brunswick. Supporters hoped it would contribute to momentum at the state level to ban flavored tobacco products, but lawmakers closed their session in the spring without acting on the statewide ban proposal.
Proponents of the ban, like Flavors Hook Kids Maine, said that it benefited children, who are susceptible to companies’ colorful marketing campaigns and the fruity flavors.
Opponents argued that tobacco sales were already banned to people under 21, and that it unfairly targeted tobacco sellers when alcohol and cannabis were just as harmful and readily available.