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Flavor Bans Cost Jobs and Millions in Wages The Economic Impact of San Francisco’s Flavored Tobacco Product Ban
Sacramento, CA – A new study commissioned by the California Fuels & Convenience Alliance (CFCA) reveals that one year into San Francisco’s flavored vape and tobacco ban, the city has lost $17 million in sales, $2.2 million in wages, and $2.06 million in local tax revenue as a direct result of the ban, along with the loss of 81 jobs.
In June of 2018, voters in San Francisco passed Proposition E, banning the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products. One year into the ban, CFCA commissioned a study to determine the economic impact the ban had throughout the city. While city staff reported that there would be minimal economic impact, the CFCA study illustrates the extent of impact, not only on stores and employees, but on city tax revenue, as well.
Following the ban, retailers in San Francisco lost almost $17.7 million in tobacco sales. With retailers struggling to recoup these losses in the city’s notoriously difficult environment for small businesses, they have been forced to cut 81 jobs and more than $2.2 million in wages. This is especially troublesome in a city like San Francisco, where small retailers like convenience stores offer many job opportunities. Moreover, these stores offer consistent sources of sales tax revenue, with direct losses to the city totaling more than $2 million.
“While this study tells the story of this ban’s impact on tobacco sales, the other troubling element is that these retailers also face losses to ancillary sales, like food and beverages, as well a fuel,” said CFCA Policy Director, Sam Bayless. “If they cannot purchase their desired products, they will shop elsewhere at retailer that meets all of their needs.”
As more localities seek bans like San Francisco’s to address concerns surrounding underage access to vaping, it is vital to understand the extent of their impacts.
“Ultimately, retailers are, and can remain, the best ally in preventing youth access to tobacco products,” added Bayless. “Rather than banning retail sales of these products and pushing sales online, where they will be much more easily accessible, policy makers should work with local retailers to enhance age-verification technology and other avenues of preventing youth access along with them, on the front lines of this fight.”
Media Contact: James Allison, Public Affairs, (916) 646-5999, firstname.lastname@example.org