The Falmouth Town Council took the first step on Monday toward adopting a policy to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in town.

If passed, Falmouth would be the sixth municipality in the state with a comprehensive policy to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in town. Portland, South Portland, Brunswick, Bar Harbor and Bangor have enacted similar bans.

The council read the proposed ordinance for the first time at Monday evening’s meeting as the Ordinance Committee voted to bring the proposed ordinance earlier that day. With enough interest from the councilors, Council Chair Hope Cahan scheduled a public hearing for a later date.

“The ordinance would prohibit the sale of flavored tobaccos,” Councilor Amy Kuhn said. “It is not a prohibition on use for any adults who wish to use any kind of flavored or regular tobacco.”

A ban could potentially impact retailers, but Falmouth does not have any retailers that only sell tobacco products, Kuhn said.

“This is an effort to address an urgent and growing problem facing our kids, which is the widespread use of flavored tobacco,” she said. “The benefits outweigh the concerns.”


Although state law prohibits those under the age of 21 from buying tobacco products, teenagers still find ways to get it, Kuhn said, and the flavors mask the taste of the tobacco, making the product more palatable for teens.

If passed, the ban could take effect by March 12, 2024. This will give businesses time to sell any products they still have in stock, Kuhn said.

While some Falmouth councilors were in favor of the ordinance at Monday’s meeting, others expressed concerns.

“I’m not in support of moving forward with this. I think it’s one of those things we’re trying to fix that’s a little too small,” Councilor Tommy Johnson said. “I think if the state is able to fix it at a state level, it probably checks more boxes than us trying to reinvent the wheel.”

Last year, South Portland voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco following a press conference organized by Flavors Hook Kids Maine.

Parents, students, health experts and other South Portland community members were in favor of the ban, while those who vocalized their opposition at council meetings were predominantly tobacco retailers.

The date of the public hearing was not released before the Northern Forecaster’s print deadline on Tuesday.

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