SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A local small businesses owner wants Sacramento City councilmembers to rethink a proposal that would ban flavored tobacco products.

Justin Maddux said fear comes to mind when he thinks about the possibility of a citywide ban on flavored tobacco products.

Maddux has owned Broham Smoke Shop for almost 10 years now. Just under half of the products he sells to customers are flavored tobacco products.

“Flavored tobacco could be anything from like flavored cigarettes, menthol cigarettes to flavored cigars, there’s a variety of flavors,” he said.

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The city is looking to ban them. They cite a US Department of Health and Human Services study which says flavored products have been shown to be a starter product for youth.

“If they take this away from being purchased in Sacramento, it will drive all the sales online. They are not going to check IDs online, so it basically increases the likelihood of children getting their hands on these products,” Maddux said.

The legal age to buy tobacco products in the state was raised from 18 to 21 in 2016. Maddux said he’s followed that law and even has a sign on the front door of his business to prove it.

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“To be able to sell these products, I have to tobacco license for the city and for the state which is annually renewed so, yes, this is money being generated for the city and for the state of California. Besides the state tax I pay on top of that,” he said.

Councilmember Angelique Ashby supports the proposal to ban flavored tobacco products. She sent the following statement to CBS13.

“The law and legislation committee is working on an extremely important policy, addressing the targeted marketing of flavored and individually wrapped tobacco products to children and communities disproportionately impacted by poverty and lack of access to health care and farm fresh food. This is an opportunity for the City of Sacramento to take an important step in support of protecting kids and at the same time addressing one component of well documented systemic oppression.
I am proud to have worked with Saving Our Legacy- African Americans for Smoke-Free Safe Spaces (SOL), American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Tobacco-Free Kids to advance this important piece of legislation.”

A subcommittee will hear the proposal on Tuesday before it goes to the council for a vote. Maddux says he’ll have to let go of all of his employees if the ban is eventually approved.