California Governor Gavin Newsom signed S.B. 793 into law, ending the sale of flavored tobacco products in retail stores throughout the state. The measure will prohibit the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including all flavored e-cigarettes and e-cigarette liquids, as well as menthol cigarettes in California, making it the second U.S. state to take such an action. Starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to sell most flavored tobacco products in California. In response, American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“Governor Newsom has taken a critical step to protect the youth of California from the growing youth e-cigarette epidemic by removing flavored tobacco products from shelves beginning in 2021. The need for such action is even more urgent in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, as smoking and vaping may make individuals more susceptible to the most severe impacts of COVID-19.
“The American Lung Association applauds Governor Newsom and the California legislature for removing flavored tobacco from the market, which is key to addressing the youth e-cigarette epidemic and eliminating the use of all tobacco products from our youth. From bubble gum and gummy bears to mint and menthol, flavors have been shown to attract and initiate kids to tobacco use and hook them to a lifetime of addiction and tobacco-related death and disease. Flavors have largely driven the rise in youth vaping, and according to new data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, youth e-cigarette use in California remains at 18.2%. We commend California’s action to remove flavored tobacco from the shelves, including mint and menthol.
“Unfortunately, the legislation contained exemptions for flavored premium cigars, pipe tobacco and flavored tobacco used in hookah waterpipes under certain conditions.
“To fully address the youth vaping epidemic and end youth tobacco use, the American Lung Association calls on all states to end the sales of all flavored tobacco products.”
For journalists seeking to schedule an interview with a lung health expert about e-cigarettes and lung health and strategies to address the youth vaping epidemic, contact Stephanie Goldina at 312-801-7629 or [email protected]
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.