Westchester lawmakers vote to ban flavored tobacco products

A new law will soon go into effect that bans the sale of flavored tobacco products in Westchester.
The Westchester Board of Legislators voted Monday night 11-6 to pass the bill, after months of debate about the racial component and the ban's potential effects on local business.
The ban does not mean people in Westchester can't use flavored tobacco products, it just means they won't be able to buy them in the county.  
Under this new law, the health department, not the police would issue citations to stores who sell flavored tobacco products. 
The lawmakers say this is a victory for young people and the Black community. More than 80% of Black smokers smoke menthol cigarettes, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
Activist Taharka Robinson says it's about time the local government did away with flavored tobacco sales, especially menthol cigarettes.
"I commend the Westchester County Legislature for even taking this on," he says. "These cigarettes have been marketed to our communities. It's time for us to really get serious about placing a ban on menthol tobacco because it's killing people in our communities."
The ban will go into effect in six months.