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August 25, 2020

California Will Become the 5th State to Ban Flavors

Aug. 28 update

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 793 into law today, soon after the California Senate passed the bill (again). It will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

The California Assembly today passed SB 793, a bill that will ban the sales of flavored vaping products in brick-and-mortar stores. The bill, if it becomes law, will also ban sales of menthol cigarettes, and flavored smokeless tobacco and small cigars.

The vape ban bill will now be reconciled with the already-passed state Senate version (which requires another vote in the Senate), then go to Governor Gavin Newsom to be signed into law. Newsom has already indicated he will sign the bill.

The amendments in the final Assembly version of the bill include exemptions to the flavor ban for hookah products, pipe tobacco and premium cigars. The independent vaping industry—once a force that turned out hundreds of vapers and vape shop owners to oppose California legislation—was barely able to muster any opposition at all, although thousands of individual vapers responded to calls to action and sent messages to legislators opposing the bill.

Even Juul Labs and the major tobacco companies were unable to successfully lobby for an exemption that would exclude products that receive PMTA approval in the future. That means a product could receive marketing approval from the FDA, but still be banned in California.

While the bill only bans sales in brick-and-mortar retailers, California passed a law last year that makes online purchases more difficult. That law placed restrictions on online and mail order sales of all vaping products, including an adult signature-on-delivery requirement.

After weeks of a pressure campaign by some black activist groups to convince minority legislators to oppose the bill based on racial justice, the Democrats who opposed it either changed their votes to yes or didn’t vote at all. The final vote was 50-0, with all 17 Republicans, 12 Democrats and one independent member not voting rather than going on record opposing the state’s powerful tobacco control interests. [Note: the vote was left open after time ran out. The votes now show 58-1.]

It is unlikely that the bill can be stopped now. Tobacco control groups support the current version of the bill—even with the unwanted exemptions for hookah, pipe tobacco and cigars. Those powerful anti-vaping/smoking groups are the real opinion leaders among state Democrats who have majorities in both houses of the California legislature.

The B&M flavor ban in California will more than double the number of Americans who no longer have access to flavored vaping products in retail stores. With 40 million residents, California is the most populous state in the country.

Assuming SB 793 becomes law, California will become the fifth state to ban face-to-face sales of flavored vaping products (the other states have also banned online sales). The states with existing flavor bans are:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will soon decide whether to sign or veto a flavor ban bill from the state legislature. State vaping businesses are leading a campaign to persuade DeSantis to veto the flavor ban.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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Mark
Mark
7 months ago

They’re trying to say it’s because of minors, but that’s BS. What about flavored alcoholic beverages? Parents need to be better parents instead of shifting the blame and just lobbying to ban flavored vapes. Now ADULTS are going to have a choice ripped away because of it. I smoked for 17 years before I switched to vape 5 years ago.
I guess I’m going back to cigarettes…

Trewhitt Trewhitt
Trewhitt Trewhitt
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

so online bussiness is not affact by the laws?

Rich
Rich
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

Hi Jim, would a CA retailer be able to sell products to CA residents via ecommerce? I just wanted to confirm this information.

Sheetster
Sheetster
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

How long before they take the next step and make it completely illegal?

Alexandre Kleis
Alexandre Kleis
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

So I tried to order online, but at checkout, because my address is San Francisco I cannot complete the buying

Mason
Mason
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

And my order requires an adult signature? I work, how am I suppose to sign for a package if I’m not present? I cannot order online.

Dizzleslaunsen
Dizzleslaunsen
5 months ago
Reply to  Mason

In my experience most of the time even when it says a signature is required they still just leave it

Kathy
Kathy
5 months ago
Reply to  Dizzleslaunsen

Have it delivered to your work, pickup at the Post office or have a friend sign for it.

Breanna
Breanna
7 months ago

Politicians rack in all this money & raise taxes to the extreme to “fight against Big Tobacco”, you know, to “help the kids!” (lol, yeah right) but will work to destroy their competition for them & line their own pockets with cash in the process. I’m not against the tobacco industry, nor am I against the vaping industry- I think grown adults should have the right to make their own decisions… But I am strongly against politicians that think it’s righteous of them to destroy the alternatives people have found to cigarettes & try to block these alternatives so people… Read more »

AngryCalifornian
AngryCalifornian
7 months ago

Asinine legislatures. Please remove them from office next voting cycle.

Trueea1
Trueea1
4 months ago

They’re only doing this so people buy cigarettes instead and they get their money which is from cigarettes taxes 🤣

Deep
Deep
7 months ago

Golly, I have so many questions on this.
If SB 793 law goes into effect, does this mean vape shops can’t sell e-flavored liquid?
Does it discontinue the sale of disposable flavored vapes?
I understand the age requirements being 21, but not so sure about the questions I presented.
Thank you for your knowledge and keeping us all informed.

Rich
Rich
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

Hi Jim, after reading this, disposables are off the shelves because they carry nicotine flavored juice. Does this mean shops will still be able to sell devices, pods, coils in store, well the ones that have been submitted on Sept 9/PMTA?

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