Beverly Hills bans tobacco sales, the first in the United States

June 5, 2019

The Beverly Hills City Council formally adopted an ordinance on Tuesday that will prohibit the retail sale of tobacco products. [CNBC]

It is believed the move makes Beverly Hills the first city in the United States to enact such a ban. The prohibition on selling tobacco products applies to the retail sale of cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes sold in gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies and grocery stores. The ordinance exempts high-end cigar lounges and hotels.

Council members approved the first-of-its-kind ordinance on a 5-0 vote. The ban will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

“Allowing tobacco products to be sold in the city increases access to these harmful and dangerous products and does not promote the city’s image as a healthy city,” the Beverly Hills ordinance states.

Councilwoman Lili Bose said at Tuesday’s meeting that banning tobacco sales is in line with Beverly Hills’ reputation as a healthy place. Bose and Mayor John Mirisch said they expect other Southern California cities to follow suit with their own bans.

Years ago, the city of San Luis Obispo led the way with anti-smoking regulations, becoming the first city to ban smoking inside public buildings.

Some retailers opposed the Beverly Hills ban, arguing it would shift tobacco sales to nearby jurisdictions like Los Angeles and West Hollywood and that it would hurt small businesses in Beverly Hills.


People in other states just must laugh when they hear this stuff …Now Oakland with one of the highest violent crime rate on west coast …has now approved schrooms and paiote etc . now the gang bangers can laugh as they shoot and car jack people… Oakland says they are approving it because it helps with depression … Yea maybe till they run out of schrooms or paiote then there sober and out to rob or kill to get some more ….Okee Dokee


The ordinance exempts high end cigar lounges and hotels. So if you have money you get an exemption from the rules the masses must follow. Remember comrades we are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others.


If the Hollywood film community would join suit we would see a huge drop in adolescent smokers…maybe then they can make films without guns too….maybe they can be more civic minded and responsible….for a change….


But its okay to do tons of coke and smoke weed of course LOL and drink lots of booze


Yeah, and next they’ll ban two per cent milk because it’s more harmful than skim milk, then soy milk, then….. books maybe next?

I don’t smoke, never have, hardly know anybody who does, but the hair stands up on the back of my neck when this sort of Nazi thing is forced onto a populace by some town council. Quo vadis, libertum?

Francesca Bolognini

I see your point, but wonder if this might not help to slow the number of younger addicts. Adults will have no problem acquiring products elsewhere, but children will find it at least a bit harder to get their hands on. Not impossible, but at least a bit less accessible. Would be interesting to find out what effect it does have.

One should hardly be surprised about Nazi behavior from the Beverly Hills establishment, given the amount of profiling that likely on there…….


Ban cigarettes but legalize the sale of marijuana. What’s next, ban the sale of assault rifles but legalize bazookas?


Apples vs oranges there Gordo… Assault rifles, bazookas and cigarettes have killed millions from their direct use but cannabis hasn’t, not even one. Nice try though…


Did you, or anyone else here, take into consideration that the waste produced by cigarettes, “butts”, are the most commonly littered item in the United States and around the world today? That most people don’t even consider those “butts” as liter? That the National Fire Protection Agency says that “smoking materials like cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, cause around 90,000 fires every year in the United States and are the number one cause of fire-related deaths.”?

Maybe Beverly Hills is just ahead of the curve here. Maybe they feel that the benefits of not having those nasty a$$ “coughin’ nails” around far outweigh the users need to pollute while they effect the health of everyone around them?

What I see is a city taking a page out of alcohol control (“dry” counties and or cities) on a local level and doing what is best for the majority of its populace (only about 15% of Americans still smoke). How is that bad?

Besides, all you have to do is go to the next city over and buy all you want, right? The city didn’t ban the use, just the sale, right?


Your points are well taken. They are the same ones used to regulate items and restrict freedom in the name of the greater good. “The city didn’t ban the use, just the sale, right?” Let’s assume this is true. If people are still smoking cigarettes then all those butts are still winding up as litter on the ground in Beverly Hills, it’s just that the cigarettes were purchased in Holmby Hills and the City of LA reaped the tax revenue. You point to the litter that cigarettes produce. I can’t argue this point, but I can ask since we have state and local littering laws that forbid littering, why do we have all this litter laying around? If we prohibit something it vanishes, right?

When we try to regulate something or make it taboo it makes it more desirable to a certain segment of our population. So, other than postering, very little is actually accomplished. We have had a more positive impact, through education, on reducing certain behaviors than we have through bans. The rates for smoking, drunk driving, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and abortion have declined because of education, not because of restrictions.


I see your point too, but… Me, joe taxpayer, is paying for the health issues of smokers. Maybe this will help lower those costs in the long run.