Background In June 2018, San Francisco voters upheld the first comprehensive prohibition on sales of flavoured tobacco products (all products including menthol, everywhere in the city with no exceptions).
Methods This paper used data collected by the San Francisco Department of Public Health as part of its implementation and enforcement of San Francisco’s city-wide ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products. Every licensed tobacco retailer was visited and inspected. The San Francisco Department of Public Health and volunteers conducted an educational campaign from September 2018 to December 2018, including emailing all licensed tobacco retailers about the law, mailing a fact sheet poster, conducting four listening sessions and visiting permitted tobacco retailers to educate them about the law and solicit questions.
Results Compliance inspections started in December 2018, which found that compliance was 17%. Compliance increased in January 2019 and averaged 80% between January 2019 and December 2019. After the phase-in period, all retailers were visited as part of routine inspections. This effort resulted in 80% compliance.
Conclusion Including retailer education prior to enforcement can result in compliance with a comprehensive ban on the sale of menthol and other flavoured tobacco products.
- public policy
- surveillance and monitoring
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Contributors PV conducted data analysis and drafted the manuscript. PML and SAG had the idea for the study, BG, JC, AD, SD, and BC collected data. SAG supervised the project and conducted data analysis. All authors contributed to writing the final paper.
Funding This work was supported in part by National Cancer Institute grant T32CA113710 (PV), Tobacco Related Disease Research Program High Impact Research Award 27IR-0042 (PML), the California Tobacco Control Program, California Department of Public Health (BG, DS, BC), California Department of Justice Grant for the Tobacco and Smoking Program (JC, AD) and National Institute on Drug Abuse grant R01DA043950 (SAG). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.
Competing interests No, there are no competing interests.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.