The strongest and wildest strategy but to discourage teen tobacco use on the state degree is taking form. A brand new California invoice would ban all tobacco gross sales for any resident born on Jan. 1, 2007 or later.
Below Assembly Bill 935, present people who smoke would have the ability to proceed shopping for tobacco merchandise, however anybody youthful than 16 years outdated as we speak wouldn’t have the ability to purchase tobacco—ever.
It might primarily section out tobacco use in California for a whole new technology.
As a substitute of punishing tobacco shoppers, the invoice would goal retailers as an alternative. It might do that by together with a sequence of monetary penalties and license suspensions for retailers who break the proposed legislation. Particularly, the invoice would add Article 6 to Chapter 1 of Half 3 of Division 103 of the Well being and Security Code, referring to tobacco gross sales.
The ban, nonetheless, wouldn’t apply to hashish gross sales. Lawmakers reasoned that the compulsive nature of nicotine compels youth to change into addicted.
The invoice was co-authored by Assemblymembers Damon Connolly, (D-San Rafael) and Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley). “This isn’t about taking away present rights of anybody; it’s about not creating a brand new technology of individuals hooked on nicotine,” Connolly said.
California has taken steps already to restrict tobacco use amongst teenagers as a lot as potential. In 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a legislation banning the sale of most flavored tobacco merchandise.
“This can be a logical subsequent step of that,” Connolly said. “The purpose right here is to steer, to truly change the dialog past our state’s borders and actually attempt to transfer the needle ahead within the path that favors public well being.”
Public well being officers applauded the invoice, saying that the tobacco business normally exploits the well being of American youth. By means of the years, limits on tobacco commercials unfolded incrementally.
“The answer is a sustainable one, we should always not punish our younger individuals for the harms of an business constructed on the exploitation of individuals,” stated Oussama Mokeddem, the director of State Coverage for Public Well being Advocates.
The invoice is extremely more likely to be challenged by Huge Tobacco. The tobacco business has fought onerous in opposition to laws of this type previously.
CBS Information reports that if the ban had been to change into legislation, the tobacco business may sue to dam the invoice from being applied. Alternatively, the tobacco business may additionally problem the ban in a poll proposal, asking voters to cease the invoice from taking impact. However Proposition 31 was overwhelmingly authorized by voters and prohibits the sale of most flavored tobacco merchandise, together with menthol cigarettes.
The U.S. Supreme Court also refused to block California’s flavored tobacco legislation.
AB 935 is tailor-made to reflect an analogous legislation in New Zealand: Final yr, the nation applied a legislation that bans the sale of tobacco merchandise to anybody born after Jan. 1, 2009.
This has even occurred already within the U.S. on the metropolis degree: Brookline, Massachusetts, handed an area legislation banning the sale of tobacco merchandise inside metropolis limits to anybody born after Jan. 1, 2000. The legislation has withstood the courts and stays in impact.
California’s ban on flavored tobacco took effect on Dec. 21, 2022, banning retailers across the state from selling vaping and smoking products with flavors. A poll problem was launched by the tobacco business after state lawmakers and the governor first authorized the ban in 2020, however voters selected to maintain the legislation in impact.