In The News-AATCLC Call To Action To Support San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen’s Historic Tobacco Control Ordinance

The AATCLC Stands with
San Francisco
Supervisor Malia Cohen 
as She Introduces Bold City-Wide Ordinance to
Restrict the Sale
of Menthol  & Flavored Tobacco Products  
San Francisco- Dr. Valerie Yerger, ND (UCSF) and Carol McGruder, Co-Chair of the AATCLC stood with Supervisor Malia Cohen, Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington, researchers, and community leaders as Cohen announced historic legislation, restricting the sale city-wide of menthol and other flavored tobacco products in San Francisco.
At a press conference Tuesday, April 18th at City Hall, Supervisor Malia Cohen announced the ordinance that is co-authored by fellow Supervisor Asha Safai.  San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was on hand to voice his strong support for the life- saving proposed ordinance as well.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Contact: Brittni Chicuata, Legislative Aide
Office of Supervisor Malia Cohen, (415)
San Francisco, CA – Supervisor Malia Cohen today introduced a landmark tobacco control ordinance which will restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the City of San Francisco. This evidence-based legislation prohibits retailers from selling any tobacco product, whether cigarette, smokeless, e-product, or otherwise, that has an added characterizing flavor.
Supervisor Cohen’s legislation is unique in that it is a full restriction on the sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol products. Flavored tobacco is disproportionately marketed to children and young adults, African Americans and LGBTQ people.
“For too long the tobacco industry has gotten a pass while they selectively target vulnerable populations with flavored tobacco products,” said Supervisor Cohen. “Flavored tobacco hooks new smokers and makes them lifelong users. It can be more harmful and more difficult to quit than unflavored tobacco. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, specifically cancers. This legislation will have a tremendous impact on the disturbing disparities for tobacco-related illnesses, and will reduce the number of new tobacco users that pick up the habit annually.”
Beyond the human suffering associated with tobacco use, the financial cost in San Francisco amounts to $380 million per year in direct health care expenses and lost productivity.
“We know from research and studies that tobacco related diseases continues to be the number one cause of preventable deaths, especially among low income and minority communities,” says Mayor Ed Lee. “We must do everything in our power to educate San Franciscans about the negative effects of tobacco and to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. I applaud Supervisor Cohen for leading on this effort.”
“This is the largest and best step to-date to reign in the predatory marketing of menthol and all flavored tobacco products. It’s about time!” said Dr. Phil Gardiner from the University of California Office of the President. “Big Tobacco’s strategy of using menthol is to ease the harshness of tobacco consumption while alluding to menthol cigarettes as ‘healthier’ options. They target low income communities and others, adding to their duplicity all in the name of making billions of dollars in profits at the expense of human lives.”
“45,000 African Americans die annually from tobacco related diseases – more than police-involved shootings, homicides, AIDS, car accidents, diabetes; and all other preventable causes of death combined,” said Dr. Valerie Yerger of UCSF. “Why do over 80% of Black smokers smoke mentholated tobacco products? Since the Civil Rights Era, Big Tobacco companies have perniciously targeted the African American Community with mentholated tobacco products.”
“We salute the vision and courage of Supervisor Malia Cohen,” said Carol McGruder of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. “This proposed legislation puts the health and lives of our children before the tobacco industry profits. The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council is calling for the greater tobacco control community to work strategically to restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. All communities should be healthy and prosperous.”

Supervisor Malia Cohen and Mayor Lee

(r.) Dr. Valerie Yerger, ND, University California, San Francisco

Carol McGruder, Co-Chair AATCLC

Oakland Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington,

San Francisco Chief of Police William “Bill” Scott and Supervisor Malia Cohen

(News Conference Photos Courtesy of Malaika Kambon, “People’s Eye Photography”)
AATCLC Social Media Posts
News Conference Video

News Conference Photos
AATCLC – The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), a collective of tobacco control experts dedicated to research, community collaboration and public engagement, is working to stop the 45, 000 preventable deaths of African Americans due to tobacco related diseases.
Available for on-going print, radio, television and Internet tobacco product related interviews:
Carol McGruder, AATCLC Co-Chair
Phillip Gardiner, DrPH, AATCLC Co-Chair
Valerie Yerger, ND, University California, San Francisco
Contact: Jackie Wright
For more information visit

The AATCLC  is a proud affiliate of NAATPN, Inc.  
The URSA Institute, c/o The URSA Institute, 390 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94107