Californians to Vote on Flavor Ban
A referendum to overturn California’s ban on flavored tobacco products qualified on Friday, reports AP.
Voters will nw decide in November 2022 whether to uphold the ban. The law won’t take effect until voters have decided.
The ban restricts the sale of flavored products but doesn’t criminalize possession of these products. Loose-leaf tobacco, premium cigars and shisha tobacco are exempt. Flavors including, but not limited to, “fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, menthol, mint, wintergreen, herb or spice” are included in the ban. Those caught selling banned products face a fine of $250.
Supporters of the law argue that these products are targeted at youth and Latino and Black communities while opponents of the ban argue that it goes too far and takes away products preferred by these communities while allowing continued sales of products preferred by wealthy communities.
Former state Senator Jerry Hill sponsored the legislation. He stated that his goal is to target products contributing to youth addiction, and he said tobacco companies are attempting to “delay the inevitable.”
“Voters are a lot smarter than Big Tobacco thinks they are,” Hill said.