California Governor Signs Tough Anti-Vapor Bill

New law defines vapor products as tobacco

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry brown signed five bills tobacco-related bills into law Wednesday, including SBX2-5, the e-cigarette law introduced last year by Sen. Mark Leno. The law essentially treats tobacco-free vapor products as tobacco, whether they contain nicotine or not.

According to, SBX2-5 “would define the term ‘smoking’ for purposes of the STAKE Act. The bill would also change the STAKE Act’s definition of ‘tobacco products’ to include electronic devices, such as electronic cigarettes, that deliver nicotine or other vaporized liquids, and make furnishing such a tobacco product to a minor a misdemeanor.”

Another bill, SBX2-7, changes the smoking age in the state to 21. The age restriction will also apply to vaping. All of California’s existing indoor smoking and workplace smoking restrictions will also apply to vaping.

“California took a step backwards today”

Sacramento, USA

The California chapters of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) issued this statement:

“California took a step backwards today by reclassifying vapor products as tobacco. Stigmatizing vapor products, which contain no tobacco and treating them the same as combustible tobacco while actively seeking to economically penalize smokers attempting to switch is counterproductive to public health. We remain strongly opposed to SBX2-5 and will continue to work with the legislature, and voters, to educate them on what science says should be embraced as a far less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes.

“Our industry, which was built by former smokers that morphed into small- and mid-sized businesses, has always supported sensible legislation, such as prohibitions on selling to minors, reasonable licensing requirements and child-resistant packaging.  However, this legislation will negatively impact California small business, of which there are approximately 1,400 vaping retail locations, plus hundreds of manufacturers, distributors and related businesses that contribute to the state’s economy, generating taxes and thousands of jobs.”

Jim McDonald

I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.

  • This is absolutely shameful.

  • Tim Berry

    It has to be said. Gov. Jerry Brown is low life political idiot in a long line of idiots that just don’t get it. So he can ruin businesses without the vote of the people. He can change the age of vaping without the vote of the people. Hell we have a right to vote but our government does not let us anymore. You can send an 18 year old to serve active duty in the military and possibly get shot at but that same person can’t unwind at the end of the day with a good beer and a vape. At the same time I can send a five year old into any store or gas station to grab a soda full of caffeine with no questions asked. What an ass backwards society we live in these days but even with all of the bull crap we deal with I still hold on to hope that somehow some things will change to the better.

    • Jim McDonald

      Note that active-duty military members are exempt. However, your points are all good ones.