Legislation introduced to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette and other tobacco products

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Bill meant to stop upswing in youth nicotine consumption

Torrance, CA – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) joined other state lawmakers in coauthoring Senate Bill 38 which will prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarette and other tobacco products. The legislation covers flavored e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, e-pipes and other vaping devices as well as flavored smokable and non-smokable products, such as cigars, cigarillos, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, dissolvable tobacco and tobacco edibles. Violators would face civil penalties ranging from $400 to $600 for the first incident to $5,000 to $6,000 for a fifth violation in a five-year period.

"Big Tobacco is targeting our youth with these flavored vaping products,” said Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. “As a parent, I am going to fight Big Tobacco to stop marketing these highly addictive and unhealthy products to our kids.”

Flavored cigarettes, except for menthol, are banned under Federal Law, but these rules do not apply to other tobacco products. In 2016, California enacted the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act, which regulates e-cigarettes in the same manner as other tobacco products and prohibits the sale of any tobacco products to a person under 21 years of age. There is no state law restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products, but some local governments have taken action to restrict youth access.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in November 2018 showing that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students are using e-cigarettes. This is an increase of 1.5 million compared to 2017 and almost 13 times higher than the number of youth using e-cigarettes in 2011. Another report said that between 2017 and 2018, there was around a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use by high school students and a 48 percent increase by middle school students. By 2018, 1 in 5 high school students were using e-cigarettes and 1 in 20 middle school students were doing the same.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, the Assistant Majority Leader for Policy and Research, represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. Muratsuchi is the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.

CONTACT: Kerry Jacob, kerry.jacob@asm.ca.gov