California Failed to Adopt Anti-Tobacco Laws

Cigarette Smoker

On their latest regular session, officials in California failed to adopt a package of anti-tobacco laws that aimed to restrict use of e-cigarettes, increase legal smoking age to 21 and raise the tobacco tax by $2 each pack.

Officials told that there is no chance that this law will be voted till the end of the year.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins explained that on Friday the Legislature ran out of time. Versions of the anti-tobacco laws were introduced in a special session that may be expanded to the beginning of 2016 when the laws may be discussed again.

Due to the fact that this is a special session, lawmakers have more time to have discussions. On Friday they just did not manage to move forwards on those laws. Good news is that they have the time to take a decision, and the failure of Friday does not mean the law rejection.

Assemblyman Jim Cooper carried one of the bills to regulate use of e-cigarettes. He is upset that the law was not adopted and people will continue to use e-cigarettes. Sen. Mark Leno also came with a bill regulating e-cigarettes and says that manufacturers have their lobbists in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. He explained that anti-tobacco laws were always discussed but never put on vote.

There is a need to be patient. The proposed bill of Leno and Cooper prohibits e-cigarettes use in public spaces including restaurants and theatres. However, vaping industry opposes the change claiming their smoking devices are safe.

Another proposed law increases legal age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 and aims to reduce smoking rates among youth. Other laws prohibit smoking at schools, impose on cigarette distributors an annual fee, permit counties to increase taxes on the tobacco industry.

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