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California to Raise Smoking Age to 21

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On Thu, the California State Assembly passed bills that would raise California’s smoking age to 21 and regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. The bills are expected to pass a final round of votes in the Senate and then go up for Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. The bill on minimum smoking age has been amended to make it legal for active-duty military members to still buy cigarettes at 18 with a military ID. Currently, Hawaii is the only state that raised, last year, minimum smoking age to 21. San Francisco and NYC have also raised the smoking age to 21.

E-cigarette bill has been prompted by some research data which shows that, as traditional smoking declines, teen e-cigarette use surges. That problem is currently exacerbated by the fact that e-cigarettes appeal to young people when nicotine-containing vaping fluids come in an array of flavors like cotton candy, gummy bear, chocolate, etc.

This Thu the Assembly also approved the bills that would:

– Expand the ban on workplace smoking to include warehouses, gambling clubs, motel lobbies, covered parking lots and other public areas.

– Increase the tobacco-free campus law to include all areas of charter schools and public school facilities and offices.

– Raise the licensing fee for tobacco retailers, distributors and wholesalers to help cover the state’s costs of enforcement.

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