california became the largest US state to ban flavored tobacco products on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press Reportswith voters supporting a law restricting the sale of products including menthol cigarettes and Fruit flavored vaping liquids.
As of Wednesday morning, 41% of Californians’ votes have been counted. Within that group, nearly two-thirds voted in favor of ban, according to the Associated Press, which was enough to declare victory.. The policy does not apply to hookahs, fine cigars or loose tobacco.
It was a long and expensive road to reach this conclusion. California Governor Gavin Newsom Signed a bill banning the sale of flavored tobacco in 2020, but was met with a strong response from the tobacco industry. more than 620,000 verified voters signed up to an initiative backed by Big Tobacco To reverse the law, drop the issue on ballot papers this year as Proposition 31. Voters can either choose to support the law or repeal it.
Massachusetts It became the first US state to ban flavored tobacco sales in 2019, and Several other countries— including New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island — have imposed similar restrictions on some flavored products. Historically, California favored regulating tobacco. In 2019, San Francisco became the first American city Ban vaping productsThe cities of Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach have since banned nearly all sales of tobacco—whether flavored or unflavored.
However, Proposition 31 has turned the country’s most populous state into a battleground. Tobacco companies including Philip Morris USA and RJ Reynolds . have reportedly ruled More than 20 million dollars on their campaign to reverse the ban – a number that dwindled to the funding provided by anti-tobacco billionaire Michael Bloomberg to support the law. according to PoliticoMost of the $71 million spent in support of the ban was personally contributed by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg and other anti-tobacco advocates have struggled for years to reduce the availability of flavored tobacco. They scored a big win earlier this year, when the US Food and Drug Administration announce intends to ban the sale of menthol cigarettesCiting its role in attracting new smokers and addicting existing users. But opponents argue that menthol is only prohibited Pushing users to unflavored tobacco products And it can add to discriminatory police cases, where menthol cigarettes are used disproportionately by black Americans.
There is also a lot of controversy about the role of flavors in e-cigarettes. Proponents of the flavor ban point to the data that shows Underage e-smokers overwhelmingly choose flavored products Instead of the one that tastes like tobacco. They argue that banning flavored liquids could discourage young people from acquiring the habit and possibly becoming addicted to nicotine. Meanwhile, some researchers and vaping advocates have noted that adults who use e-cigarettes to switch away from deadly combustible cigarettes. Also like flavored products And you may not switch if delicious flavors are not available.
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