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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in California. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by California's elected officials:
1. Prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol;
2. Expand protection from secondhand smoke exposure in locations including multi-unit housing; and outdoor dining;
3. Pass policies to further reduce access to tobacco products.

This past year proved to be another success for the American Lung Association in California. At the state level, California expanded its smokefree law to prohibit smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes at state parks and beaches. The Lung Association also successfully fought against the criminalization of youth, by ensuring purchase, use and possession laws were not included in tobacco-related legislation at the state level.

Comprehensive bills to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes were introduced in both houses of the legislature in 2019. However, due to opposition by key legislators, all these bills were stalled. It is anticipated that interested authors will introduce similar pieces of legislation in 2020. The Lung Association will continue to engage legislators and stakeholders in the policy making process to strengthen tobacco control in California.

At the local level, there continued to be significant momentum for communities pursuing and adopting policies restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Thirteen additional localities passed laws this year addressing flavored products, bringing the statewide total to 42, 32 of which include menthol cigarettes. This year, the counties of San Diego and Los Angeles each passed comprehensive laws prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products in unincorporated areas.

The Lung Association has also continued to lead efforts to protect San Francisco's flavored tobacco law. Juul sponsored a ballot measure in San Francisco which would have rescinded its strong flavored tobacco law and other e-cigarette regulations.

In 2020, the American Lung Association in California will continue to fight for policies that protect youth from accessing tobacco products through local policies that restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products and new types of tobacco products. Additional efforts will seek to improve the quality of life of individuals with lung disease living in multi-unit housing, by adopting local policies that restrict tobacco use in those properties. The Lung Association will also continue to advocate for statewide policies which prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
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