Youths back local effort to ban flavored tobacco products

By Heather Ah San, The Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD — Solano County is urging local youths to help push the Food and Drug Administration to ban flavorings — including menthol — from tobacco products.

Felicia Flores-Workman, project director for the county’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, said in a press release that the tobacco industry formulates and markets menthol cigarettes to appeal to youth and minorities.

“In Solano County, one in five deaths is smoking-related,” she said. “It is imperative to eliminate menthol and all flavorings from all tobacco products with no exceptions.”

The Tobacco Prevention and Education Program recruited youths from Solano County 4-H, Fairfield and Armijo high schools, Touro University and Vallejo’s Fighting Back partnership and the youth commission known as YC3 to complete an observational survey at businesses selling tobacco.

The youths’ observational survey of 88 tobacco retailers found that approximately half of the available tobacco products were menthol cigarettes. All but one tobacco retailer sold menthol cigarettes.

The Tobacco Education Coalition, an advisory group to the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, plans to have signed petitions and resolutions ready when the FDA requests public comment.

For more information or to to get involved, contact Elena Villalpando at 784-8063 or visit

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or Follow her on Twitter at