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Beverly Hills City Council Votes To Ban Tobacco Sales

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Tobacco sellers in Beverly Hills, California are in for a major blow as the City Council on Tuesday voted to prohibit the sale of all tobacco products in the city premises.

The decision will come into effect starting January 1, 2021. Many U.S. Citizens started ditching tobacco for its health issues.

Under the unanimously approved ordinance, all tobacco retailers, including gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies and newsstands, will not be able to sell tobacco products - cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

However, there will be exemptions for existing cigar launches, the council said in a press release.

The works on the proposed ban has been going on for some time. The City Council on May 7 had supported a draft ordinance.

The sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products are already restricted in the City. Smoking is also banned in hotel rooms and restaurants.

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets reportedly indicated that the ban would hurt local tobacco sellers in the region with a 25 percent to 45 percent decrease in their monthly income.

The proposed decision would impact the already dwindling sales of tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc. The manufacturer of Malboro cigarettes estimates fiscal 2019 total domestic cigarette industry volume to decline 4 percent to 5 percent.

Amid the weak demand for cigarettes, Altria recently made efforts to branch out and agreed to buy major stake in Switzerland's Burger Söhne Holding, marking its entry into the fast-developing oral tobacco-derived nicotine or TDN category. Altria will now commercialize Burger Group's On! nicotine pouch worldwide.

Earlier, Altria had also taken stake in the Canadian cannabinoid company Cronos Group, and also made investments in E-Cigarette maker JUUL Labs.

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