HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ TOBACCO CONTROL

ATS and California Thoracic Society Go to Court to Support Los Angeles Tobacco Law

This week, the ATS joined the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and several other medical and public health organizing in an amicus brief supporting an ordinance adopted by the Los Angeles California Board of Supervisors that banned the sale of flavored tobacco products in Los Angeles county.  The ordinance was originally adopted by the LA Board of Supervisors and, unsurprisingly, immediately challenged in court by a coalition of tobacco companies led by RJR Reynolds.  A lower court earlier dismissed the tobacco industry challenge and the appeals court is now considering the case.

The tobacco industry is claiming that the LA county ordinance impinges on federal authority to regulate tobacco products.  In the amicus brief, the ATS and fellow amici reject the industry position and note that the law that gives the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products – the Tobacco Control Act - preserves the right of state and local authorities to regulate the sales of tobacco products.  The amicus brief further notes that the tobacco industry knowingly uses flavored products to lure youth into nicotine addiction and the LA County has a compelling interest in trying to prevent youth tobacco use.

Last Reviewed: May 2021