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Signatures in support of ending flavored tobacco sales delivered to Bangor leaders

The Bangor City Council is set to vote on the ordinance on Aug. 8.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor City Council is, once again, presenting a city-wide ban on ending flavored tobacco sales.

City councilors voted to implement a ban on flavored tobacco sales in fall 2021, making it the first community in Maine to end the sales of flavored tobacco. However, in May, the city had to reverse the ordinance due to procedural errors.

At its city council meeting on July 25, the Bangor City Council held a first reading of the city's new flavored tobacco ordinance.

On Wednesday, support for the ban was hand-delivered.

Supporters met at Bangor City Hall, where they stuffed city councilors' mailboxes with more than 300 signatures that support the ban to end flavored tobacco sales.

"One in four Maine high school students use tobacco products, and the main product used is e-cigarettes. Eight in 10 Maine high school students say flavors are why they use e-cigarettes," the American Lung Association's State Public Policy Assistant Vice President, Lance Boucher, said "We need to end this policy to prevent a lifetime of addiction to these harmful and deadly products."

One high school student is encouraging councilors to vote in favor of the ban because she said she's seen what flavored tobacco has done to kids her age.

"Vaping has taken away certain aspects of growing up, or you can say 'the high school experience' from kids because it's causing them to be depressed and just worried about it at all times," Sophia Ward, a sophomore at John Bapst Memorial High School, said.

Community members have the chance to give final comment on the ban on Aug. 2 before the council votes on Aug. 8.

If city leaders vote to pass the ordinance, the city will join Portland and Brunswick, which also have ordinances in effect that ban the sale of flavored tobacco.

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