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ARIZONA – Tempe – Stop a Flavor Ban!

current status



full council

Signed by

12/07/22 – Meeting: Human Services and Community Safety, 12:00 PM (agenda)

10/14/22 – Tempe will hold separate virtual and in-person meetings on October 25 regarding a proposed flavor ban ordinance. Prior to the meeting, residents are invited to fill out this survey regarding the flavor ban proposal.

08/26/22 – According to the summary of the work session, “Councilmember Garlid clarified the purpose of this item was to let council know where the Human Services and Community Safety were in the process. The next steps in the process are to hold public forums and gather information to take steps and move this matter forward.”

08/25/22 – Work Session scheduled. Item 5A1 is a proposal to ban sales of flavored vapor products in the city of Tempe. [See “Meeting Materials” below]

08/18/22 – Memo to Mayor and City Council recommends starting the process of adopting a vaping flavor ban. [Vaping Ordinance Memo]

The City of Tempe is moving forward with a plan to ban the sales of flavored vapor products. A survey was conducted to gather community input on the proposal. You can read responses by following this link to the flavor ban survey. There are slim margins in favor of doing nothing more than enforcing the minimum sales age of 21, but the Tempe City Council will be hearing a proposal to ban ALL flavored tobacco and nicotine products. A recommendation to this effect is scheduled to be presented at the next Human Services and Community Safety Committee meeting on

    • Wednesday, Dec. 7
    • 12:00 PM
    • Virtual Meeting (see agenda for how to comment and join, or click the link below)

If you would like to submit written comments, or speak at the meeting please make sure to register, or have your comments submitted by 10:00 AM, Wednesday.

Please continue sharing your experiences with council members and urge them to oppose any plan to ban the sales of low-risk alternatives to smoking that come in flavors other than tobacco.

  • Urge your council members to resist proposals to ban flavored smoke-free products, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking and send people back to smoking, or to buy their vapor products from informal sources.
  • Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors play in helping you live smoke free.
  • Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
  • Briefly, discuss what losing legal access to a local supply of vapor products will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
  • Be brief, Be kind, and Say Thank You 🙂

For those new to vaping or just generally unfamiliar with federal regulations, the premarket tobacco application (or PMTA) deadline was September 9, 2020. This application is required to keep or bring new tobacco/nicotine products on the market. To date, FDA has denied 98-99% of applications it received.

But 98% is not 100% (as anti-harm reduction activists are fond of saying).

The FDA has already approved some new tobacco products that are being sold in flavors other than tobacco (specifically mint, menthol, and wintergreen). In the weeks prior to the September deadline, the FDA accepted for review several applications for bottled e-liquid in flavors ranging from tobacco to cereal to fruit. Despite the rhetoric from certain members of congress and the incessant pro-drug war drum beat of tobacco prohibitionists, FDA is still capable of authorizing flavored smoke-free nicotine products for market. Moreover, FDA may even allow manufactures of these products to market them as safer than cigarettes, if they apply for and receive a modified risk order.

A flavor ban in Tempe would undermine any decision by FDA to allow low-risk flavored tobacco products on the market after having met the “appropriate for the protection of public health” standard. Even without involving the FDA, flavor bans are being enacted without thorough consideration of the negative consequences. Sales data from Massachusetts and New York suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking.

While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming parents and other adults who are trying to quit smoking.

Meeting Materials

Agenda - 12/07/22

Draft Ordinance

Proposed Ordinance - Oct. 2022

Meeting Materials

Vaping Ordinance Memo - 08/18/22

Take Action Now!

We strongly encourage our members to share their thoughts and lived experience with vaping and tobacco harm reduction with their officials. Fill out the form below to share comments with your city council member.