Ban on sale of flavored tobacco goes into effect Wednesday
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program is reminding local retailers about a California law that goes into effect Dec. 21, that prohibits the sale of most flavored tobacco products.
“SB 793 requires retailers across the state to stop selling flavored tobacco products and flavored enhancers covered by the law and to remove those products from store shelves by the Dec. 21 date,” said Kristin Becker, program manager with El Dorado County Public Health. “Our goal is to ensure that local stores and our community are aware of this new law.”
According to Becker, the new law will save lives and money on tobacco-related health care costs.
“One of the most important aspects of this law is how it can potentially help our youth,” said Becker. “Currently, four out of five kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. More than two million middle and high school youth now use e-cigarettes across the United States; 70% of youth e-cigarette users say they use the product because it comes in flavors they like. This new law will hopefully go a long way towards preventing tobacco use among our youth and protect them from getting hooked into a lifetime of addiction.”
On Nov. 8, California voters upheld Senate Bill 793 (originally passed by state legislators in 2020), by approving state ballot measure Proposition 31. Statewide, 63.4% of California residents and 56.9% of El Dorado County residents approved Proposition 31 on the November 2022 ballot, which affirmed the ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products across California.
Under SB 793, all current stock of flavored tobacco products and flavored enhancers covered by the law must be removed by retailers from their store shelves by December 21, 2022. Products include:
- Flavored e-cigarettes or vapes that deliver nicotine or another vaporized liquid, e-juice, pods, or cartridges,
- Menthol cigarettes,
- Flavored little cigars and cigarillos,
- Flavored loose-leaf roll-your-own tobacco,
- Flavored smokeless tobacco products,
- Flavored rolling papers,
- Flavored blunt wraps, and
- Flavored tobacco product flavor enhancers.
According to Becker, SB 793 specifies that retailers are responsible for compliance with the law. Retailers who sell, offer for sale, or possess flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers covered by the law with the intention of selling can face fines up to $250 for each violation.
“Our El Dorado County Tobacco Use Prevention Program is currently updating the County’s website to provide retailer and community education and resources on SB 793,” said Becker. “A link to this information is available on the County Public Health Division web page – https://www.edcgov.us/Government/PublicHealth. We will also increase our efforts in promoting and supporting cessation services for the community, such as Kick It California (https://kickitca.org/).”
El Dorado County retailers and community members with questions regarding the new law may contact the Tobacco Use Prevention Program Team at 530-621-6142. Information regarding the law can also be found on the California Department of Public Health’s website – https://tinyurl.com/4pcf9ufh
The Tobacco Use Prevention Program is part of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Division. For more information about the many programs and services of HHSA, visit http://www.edcgov.us/hhsa.
Source: El Dorado County
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