California bill would ban sale of cigarettes and all other tobacco products to anyone born in or after 2007
SACRAMENTO, California– Some California lawmakers eventually want to ban all tobacco sales in the nation’s most populous state and are introducing legislation to make it illegal for people born after January 1, 2007 to sell cigarettes and other products.
If the law were signed, 2,073 people wanting to buy cigarettes would need to present ID to prove they are at least 67 years old.
“We can make sure the next generation of kids in California don’t become addicts,” said Damon Connolly, a San Rafael Democrat and author of the bill.
The proposal is likely to face strong opposition from the tobacco industry, which would struggle to maintain access to its largest US market. If the ban becomes law, the industry could sue. She could also challenge the ban at the ballot box, urging voters not to let it go into effect.
“(The ban) will affect many jobs and will have repercussions throughout California’s economy,” said Charles Janigian, president of the California Association of Retail Tobacconists.
Connolly and others are confident that if they could get it through the legislature, the ban would survive. It’s modeled on a similar law New Zealand enacted last year that bans the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after January 1, 2009. In the United States, the city of Brookline, Massachusetts passed a local law banning the sale of tobacco products within its borders for anyone born after January 1, 2000 — a law the courts have so far left in effect .
In 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation banning the sale of most flavored tobacco products in the state. The tobacco industry urged voters to block the law, but voters let it go into effect in November.
“This is a logical next step from that,” said Connolly. “The goal here is to lead, actually change the conversation beyond the borders of our state, and really try to move the needle in the direction that benefits public health.”
The bill would not penalize people for using or possessing tobacco products. Instead, it would penalize retailers for selling to them. Connolly said he is open to changes that could create an exception for religious and cultural purposes. But he said the ban would not affect marijuana, which is legal to smoke recreationally in California.
“Tobacco products and marijuana are not an apples-to-apples comparison,” he said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking marijuana contains many of the same toxins and cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. The agency says more research is needed, but that limited evidence has shown a link between chronic marijuana smoking and testicular cancer.
The ban could also eliminate revenue for the state, as California collected more than $1.5 billion in tobacco taxes in 2021, according to the California Taxes and Fees Act.
“At the end of the day, the state is the net loser,” Janigian said.
Connolly said the ban would save taxpayers money, citing the “huge impact of nicotine and tobacco on our public health system”.
“Preventing the next generation of Californians from becoming addicted to smoking should be a priority for everyone who cares about the public health of our state and the well-being of our children,” said Connolly.
https://6abc.com/california-tobacco-cigarettes-bill/12872680/ California bill would ban sale of cigarettes and all other tobacco products to anyone born in or after 2007