SACRAMENTO -- After intension discussions in a more than three-hour hearing, the Assembly Health Committee passed Senate Bill 793 on August 4. The committee's 10-2-4 vote sent the bill to prohibit retail sales of flavored tobacco products -- including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, flavored non-premium cigars and cigarillos, and flavored smokeless tobacco products -- to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.
The Reverend John E. Cager III and Dr. Phillip Gardiner were lead witnesses testifying in favor of SB 793. The Reverend Cager is the pastor of Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and the president of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. Recent commentary by Reverend Cager appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Dr. Phillip Gardiner, an expert on the health impacts of tobacco consumption, co-chairs the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. For more than a decade, Dr. Gardiner has lectured around the country on African American health disparities and the impact of menthol smoking in the Black community.
Nearly 50 state legislators have joined Senator Hill as co0authors of SB 793, which if enacted would provide the strongest flavored tobacco policy in the country.
Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, the American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network California, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Common Sense are bill cosponsors. One-hundred-forty-four organizations support the legislation.