Today, May 23, 2019, the California Senate shelved a bill named SB 38, which would ban the sale of vapor and smoke-free tobacco products in flavors other than tobacco.
The California bill intends to ban flavored tobacco products, aimed at reducing the use of electronic cigarettes by minors, was shelved Thursday after the author said it had been watered down so much with exemptions that it was now opposed by public health groups.
Under intense lobbying from the tobacco industry, a Senate panel amended SB 38 against the wishes of its author to exempt hookah products and some flavors that are commonly used in cigars and pipes.
Although this legislation is currently shelved the authors of the bill intend to introduce a new bill that'll be more limited in it's scope to reduce the "epidemic" of teen vaping. So it's certainly not the last time we'll hear about legislation in the state that invented modern day vaping.
We urge our California customers to be engaged and reach out to their state representatives to have their voices heard.
You can research your local contacts on the California.gov website and call, text or email them your thoughts on vaping. Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and be sure to note any health changes you’ve experienced.
Additionally, you can mention flavors are an important aspect of vapor products as they help former smokers disassociate nicotine consumption from inhaling smoke and the taste of tobacco. Prohibiting flavor options creates a barrier to becoming smoke free and, as a result, many adults will actually be encouraged to continue smoking instead of making the switch to a product that is estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.
Lastly, you can reiterate that sales of flavored smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products should not be restricted to adult-only or specialty retailers. It is important that smokers are exposed to safer alternatives in retail environments where they normally purchase cigarettes.