Beverly Hills votes to end most tobacco sales

National
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Promotional packs of Marlboro Medium and Malboro Lights are photographed in a grocery store in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005. Altria Group Inc., maker of top-selling Marlboro cigarettes, said Wednesday its third-quarter net income increased 9 percent, primarily driven by the strong sales performance of its international tobacco business. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Beverly Hills has become the first U.S. city to end most tobacco sales.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to snuff out sales of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products beginning in 2021.

The ban covers sales at gas stations and pharmacies as well as convenience and grocery stores. However, it exempts hotels and three plush cigar lounges in the wealthy and glamorous Los Angeles suburb.

The hotel exemption was designed to accommodate tourists, who could have a concierge deliver their smokes – although they’d have to smoke them outside.

Gas station owners opposed the measure, saying it unfairly targeted their businesses and might force employee layoffs.

Public health advocates argued that the cost is higher in terms of health.

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