Ban of flavored tobacco products in California
The following contains excerpts from an article by Hannah Wiley that was originally posted on the Los Angeles Times site. Full article can be found at: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-11-08/2022-california-election-prop-31-ban-flavored-tobacco-results.
See also this press release from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/press-releases/2022_11_09_california-voters-uphold-ending-sale-flavored-tobacco.
California voters on Tuesday passed a ballot measure to uphold a 2020 law that banned the sale of most flavored tobacco products, giving anti-tobacco advocates an expected victory in a multiyear fight against the industry to mitigate a youth vaping crisis.
Proposition 31 was placed on the ballot soon after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 793, the Legislature’s bipartisan effort to crack down on e-cigarettes and other products popular with kids. The law banned the sale of certain flavored tobacco products in stores and vending machines, including menthol cigarettes, but with exceptions for hookah, premium cigars and loose-leaf tobacco.
More than 100 local jurisdictions in California have passed some level of restrictions against the sale of flavored tobacco products. Lawmakers approved the statewide ban despite lobbying by the tobacco industry and other interest groups that claimed it would disproportionately affect certain communities more than others and incentivize a black market.
Advocates for Proposition 31 argued the restrictions would deter tobacco use among kids by eliminating youth-friendly flavors such as bubblegum, cotton candy and cherry. A 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention youth survey found that 20% of high school and 10% of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use.