Beverly Hills bans tobacco sales – except at hotels

Beverly Hills has become the first US city to almost completely outlaw the sale of tobacco.

The California city’s council unanimously voted to stub out sales of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The ban covers petrol stations and pharmacies, as well as convenience and grocery stores.

It will come into force in 2021.

Hotels and three plush cigar lounges in the wealthy and glamorous suburb of Los Angeles will not be affected by the ban.

A woman smoke a cigarette outside a bar in Beverly Hills, California
Image: A woman smokes a cigarette outside a bar in Beverly Hills, California

The hotel exemption is designed to accommodate tourists who could have a concierge deliver their cigarettes.

Although they will still have to smoke them outside.

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Petrol station owners have opposed the measure, saying it unfairly targets their businesses and might force them to cut staff.

Public health advocates argued that the health cost is higher.

Around 249 billion cigarettes were sold in the US in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This would represent a 3.5% decrease on 2016.

Illnesses related to smoking incur costs of more than $300bn (£236bn) annually in the US, according to the CDC.

This is broken down into around $170bn (£134bn) spent on direct medical care, with about $156bn (£123bn) said to be lost in productivity.

Source: SKY NEWS

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