In this Sept. 6, 2019, file photo, Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, walks past a poster reading: "Progress Erased: Flavored Tobacco and the e-cigarette epidemic among youth," as the county announced the first known death associated with e-cigarette vaping in Los Angeles. A ballot measure asks voters whether a 2020 law that outlawed the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in California should take effect or be overturned. When the state Legislature passes a law, voters have the power to stop it from ever taking effect if they can gather enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. That's what tobacco companies did after lawmakers passed a law in 2020 to outlaw certain flavored tobacco products, arguing the products were designed to appeal to children. The law was delayed until voters could decide in November 2022. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / AP

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I would like to add my voice to those who are urging the Bangor City Council to do the right thing and vote (again) to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in our city.

In the more than 50 years I operated a family-owned pharmacy in Bangor, I saw lots of changes with buying habits, marketing tactics, and trends. While we had a business to run and a family to feed, we always tried to make our business decisions based on what was the right thing to do for the people of our community. That was a major driver of our decision to stop selling tobacco products altogether, which was done at a time when it was not the popular thing to do.

Today, I see flavored tobacco products on the shelves. They are clearly marketed to younger people, in an effort to try to get them hooked on tobacco. The flavors appeal to children, and based on what I hear from school officials, these products are still getting in the hands of children. This is disgusting and needs to stop.

The Bangor City Council has the chance to help the kids in this community by doing the right thing. And, with the other communities who have passed this ordinance, and hopefully with more cities and towns to follow Bangor’s lead, this will become a statewide law before too many more kids get addicted.

Please, councilors, do the right thing. Vote to end the sale of flavored tobacco products.

Bill Miller