California Proposes Ban on Menthol, Other Flavored Tobacco Products
Flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, may be banned from being sold at brick-and-mortar stores in California if a recently released bill makes its way into law. The ban would make California the second state to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products in stores. It also extends to more products than those covered by a partial ban on some flavored e-cigarettes announced by the Food and Drug Administration.
Let’s Try Again
The proposed ban is outlined in Senate Bill 793, which was introduced Jan. 6. The bill is nearly identical to a previous measure that was introduced in 2019, a measure that was eventually withdrawn after amendments were added. The amendments provided exemptions for flavored tobacco patented before 2000 as well as flavored hookah. Supporters said the amendments defeated the purpose of the ban. Senate Bill 793 appears to be trying again.
Going beyond Federal Ban
California’s proposed ban extends wider than the partial ban recently announced by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s ban is focused only on e-cigarettes, with exceptions for certain types of flavored e-cigs. It also exempts menthol cigarettes. Bill 793 makes no such exemptions.
Massachusetts was the first state to enact its own ban on flavored tobacco, with the sales of flavored e-cigarettes prohibited immediately after the bill was signed into law in November. The state’s ban on menthol cigarettes and menthol vaping products goes into effect in June.
Matching California Vibe
California’s proposed statewide ban would align with flavored tobacco bans that have been enacted in various counties and cities over the past several years. Some cities have gone even further than simply targeting flavored e-cigs. San Francisco, Richmond, and Livermore have banned the sale of all e-cigarettes, no matter the flavor.
If Senate Bill 793 makes it into law, stores that break the law would be penalized $250 per violation. It’s unclear if the fine would apply to each product sold or each transaction conducted. Online sales from manufacturers not located in California will not be affected, as they’re deemed as interstate commerce and more difficult to regulate.
Black Note Promise
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Black Note would fall under the jurisdiction of any new state laws. We would do our best to continue to provide the same quality tobacco vaping products to customers that we have consistently provided since our inception.