More Communities Are Giving Flavored Tobacco the Boot. Will California Follow?

by | Aug 19, 2022 | Health

SAN JOSE, Calif. — California’s third-largest city banished flavored tobacco products from store shelves this summer, joining scores of other cities and counties in the state in a public health push to reduce nicotine addiction among youths and young adults.

Like San Jose, Sacramento County also imposed a ban this summer. Los Angeles, California’s largest city, and San Diego will implement prohibitions in January.

Even though big and small communities across the state have already acted, Californians in November will decide whether to enact one of the nation’s most comprehensive statewide bans on flavored tobacco — making it illegal for brick-and-mortar retailers to sell flavored cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or vapes, including those flavored with menthol. Sales of gums or gummies that contain nicotine and are not approved by the FDA would also be prohibited.

At issue is a 2020 state law that would have banned the sale of those products — but never went into effect. Within days of its passage, Big Tobacco launched a referendum drive to overturn the law.

A “yes” vote on the referendum, known as Proposition 31, would uphold the law, banning the sale of flavored tobacco. A “no” vote would overturn the law.

If the measure passes, more restrictive local ordinances would remain in place while the state law would override weaker bans. If the referendum fails, all local bans would rem …

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