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


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…


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 »


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.


The title of the article states that CA will become the 5th state to ban flavors. In the body of the article, it says, “The bill, if it becomes law.” Im confused. Is it in effect? Whats going on now? The “if” is throwing me off. Can you please elaborate. Thank you in advance.

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