This is the first U.S. city to end most tobacco sales

Phillip Morris
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Beginning in 2021, Beverly Hills, California, will become the first city in the United States to ban most tobacco sales.

On June 4, 2019, the City Council voted unanimously to end the sale of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products at gas stations, pharmacies, convenience stores and grocery stores throughout the posh Los Angeles suburb.

Hotels and three cigar lounges will be exempt from the ban.


“This reflects the values of our community,” Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch said in a statement.

“We are a city that has taken the lead on restricting smoking and promoting public health. Somebody has to be first, so let it be us.”

smoking photo
Getty Images | Sean Gallup

In 2017, the city passed an ordinance that banned smoking in all multi-unit housing within Beverly Hills.

This new ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2021, and the City Council plans to revisit the law three years later.


The negative effects of smoking are well-documented.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States.


Although Beverly Hills may be the first U.S. city to pass such a far-reaching ordinance against tobacco sales, it’s far from the only place taking a stand against the unhealthy habit.

As of May 1, 2019, smoking was banned at all Walt Disney World theme and water parks as well as at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando and Downtown Disney in California.

Disney Parks Christmas TV Special Pre-Taping
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Hawaii, meanwhile, is considering a bill that bans cigarette sales to anyone under the age of 100, which would basically clear Hawaiian store shelves of cigarettes — though tourists could still bring in their own cigarettes.

In 2016, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to raise the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

The Quiksliver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau
Getty Images | Darryl Oumi

The National Academy of Sciences released a report in 2015 stating that increasing the age to buy tobacco to 21 would have a “considerable impact” on the age at which someone takes their first puff.

The report also suggested “if someone is not a regular tobacco user by age 25, it is highly unlikely he or she will become one.”


“Basically, we essentially have a group who are heavily addicted — in my view, enslaved by a ridiculously bad industry — which has enslaved them by designing a cigarette that is highly addictive, knowing that it’s highly lethal. And it is,” Rep. Richard Creagan, who sponsored the bill to increase the minimum age for purchasing tobacco in Hawaii, told Hawaii Tribune-Herald.


The U.S. Constitution does not recognize smoking as a fundamental right, unlike the rights of gun-owners which are protected by the Second Amendment.

In fact, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling in 2012 against a smoker in Missouri who challenged an anti-smoking ordinance on grounds that it violated his constitutional rights.

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Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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