UPDATED 4:12 PM – Wednesday, November 9, 2022
California passes a measure banning the sale of flavored tobacco products statewide.
California voters passed Proposition 31 on Tuesday, upholding a 2020 ban on flavored tobacco products, marking a victory for anti-tobacco activists aiming to end the youth vaping crisis.
The state legislature and governor approved the measure in 2020, which garnered widespread support despite lobbying efforts by big-tobacco companies who launched a referendum.
Opponents argue its already illegal to sell tobacco products to children, asserting that an all-out ban would potentially lead to underground markets.
Supporters of the measure say 80% of youth who now regularly smoke tobacco started with the flavored products.
Jim Knox, the Managing Director at American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, made a statement about the matter.
“We know that it’s flavors that drive the tobacco industry’s game plan to addict youth to a lifetime of nicotine addiction,” said Knox. “There’s a real danger here that we can reduce decades of progress in youth tobacco use, we’ve got 2 million kids in California and the U.S. using these products and it’s critical we get them off the shelves.”
California now becomes the fifth state nationwide to ban flavored products following behind Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.