California Smoking Law Comes of Age


Last updated 5/5/2016 at 7:59am

The fight against tobacco continues this week as the legal smoking age in the state will be raised to 21. This includes a new minimum age on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a handful of bills centered on tobacco laws Wed May. 4 which will come in to effect in June.

In a legislative update, his office announced the following had been signed:

ABX2-7 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Smoking in the workplace.

ABX2-9 by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) – Tobacco use programs.

ABX2-11 by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) – Cigarette and tobacco product licensing: fees and funding.

SBX2-5 by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) – Electronic cigarettes.

SBX2-7 by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) – Tobacco products: minimum legal age.

The most recognizable bill is by Sen. Ed Hernandez, which raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, from 18 to 21.

“The Governor’s signature on Tobacco 21 is a signal that California presents a united front against Big Tobacco. Together, we stand to disrupt the chain of adolescent addiction,” Hernandez said in a press release Wednesday night. “The fierce opposition from Big Tobacco on this measure proves just how important this law is and how much their business model relies on targeting our kids.”

Despite the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, Sen. Mark Leno's bill will affect many in California, as they will now be prohibited in the same places as traditional smoking.

“The e-cigarette is nothing more than a new delivery system for toxic and addictive nicotine,” Leno said following the bill's approval. “Ensuring that e-cigarettes fall under California’s comprehensive smoke-free laws is critical to protecting public health, especially given the alarming rate at which young people are picking up these devices."


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