Governor Newsom Signs Landmark Legislation Restricting Store Sales of Flavored Tobacco | Lawmakers Hail Governor’s Swift Action on SB 793

August 28, 2020

Governor Newsom Signs Landmark Legislation Restricting Store Sales of Flavored Tobacco
Lawmakers Hail Governor’s Swift Action on SB 793

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 793 today, making California the leader in state policy on sales of flavored tobacco products. The new law, which imposes the toughest state restrictions in the country thus far, takes effect on January 1, 2021.

The governor’s signature came just a few hours after the Senate’s 34-0 vote to pass the legislation. The Assembly voted 58-1 on Monday to pass the bill that prohibits store sales of flavored e-cigarettes and other e-devices, menthol cigarettes, non-premium flavored cigars and cigarillos, and other flavored smokable, vapable and smokeless tobacco products, with the exception of shisha tobacco used in hookahs, loose-leaf pipe tobacco and premium cigars costing $12 or more.

“The action by Governor Newsom today and by the Legislature this week is a huge win for our kids and the health of our communities throughout California,” said state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, the lead author of the bill. “SB 793 will save lives.”

“I am deeply grateful for the fierce support of youth, faith, community, health and education advocates, my 64 colleagues who coauthored SB 793, and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who cosponsored the legislation,” Senator Hill said. “Thanks also go to the more than 160 organizations, which include cosponsoring organizations: the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Common Sense. Special thanks go to Carol McGruder, founding member and co-chair of African American for Tobacco Control Leadership Council, council co-chair and tobacco health impacts expert Phillip Gardiner, the Reverend John E. Cager III, pastor of Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles and the president of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders, Stanford University professor Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, the founder and executive director of the Tobacco Prevention Toolkit, and professor Stanton Glantz of UCSFCenter for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Thanks to their incredible commitment, SB 793 will become law in California.”

Joint Author Senator Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, said: “These flavored vaping products are addicting our children to nicotine and endangering their lives. The explosive use has become an epidemic that requires urgent action. Thank you Senator Hill for your leadership in protecting our children.”

“There has been an alarming increase in e-cigarette usage among young people here in California. We know that stopping an individual from ever picking up a tobacco or vaping product is the most effective way to keep them from using them later in life. Senator Hill’s work on this critical issue is to be commended, SB 793 is essential for the health of our communities,” said Senator Mike McGuire, D-North Coast/North Bay, also a joint author.

“SB 793 will prevent children from being enticed into nicotine addiction,” said Dr. Richard Pan, the state senator representing the Sacramento region and an SB 793 joint author. “As a pediatrician and father, I want to protect kids from the dangers of tobacco and I am proud to author this law with Senator Hill.”

Assemblymembers Jim Wood and Kevin McCarty also hailed the governor's signing of SB 793. In thanking all his colleagues during Senate floor remarks Friday, Senator Hill said the support of two assemblymembers, who were joint authors, and that of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assemblymember Shirley Weber, both coauthors, were instrumental in SB 793's success. In all, 44 assemblymembers coauthored SB 793 and nearly three-quarters of the Assembly voted for it.

“Thanks to years of hard work by Senator Hill and the coalition he built, the bill went from the Senate floor to being signed by Governor Newsom in a matter of hours,” said Assemblymember Wood, D-Santa Rosa. “This new law will do so much to prevent kids from taking up the deadly and harmful habit of smoking and becoming addicted to nicotine. Smoking has never been safe, ever, and never will.”

“I’m proud to be a coauthor of SB 793,” said Assemblymember McCarty, D-Sacramento. “This is a huge win against Big Tobacco – more importantly we are protecting our children from getting hooked on flavored tobacco products.”

Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, also a joint author, said: “Big Tobacco, the days of targeting teens with flavored, addictive vape pens and other deadly products are over. SB 793 is going to snuff out bubblegum and the other flavored tobacco products you’ve been using to hook our kids.”

“I want to thank Senator Hill for his hard work on getting SB 793 across the finish line, despite a massive misinformation campaign by the tobacco industry," said Senator Scott Wiener D-San Francisco, a joint author. "This critical public health bill is so important for our kids, who are heavily targeted by flavored tobacco products – designed to appeal to and addict them. I am proud to coauthor SB 793 and thrilled that Governor Newsom has signed it into law.”

“I am proud to be a part of the effort to address the current e-cigarette addiction crisis facing California,” said Senator Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, a principal coauthor of SB 793. “Flavored e-cigarettes pose dangerous health risks, particularly to children and young adults. Exposure to nicotine during adolescence harms brain development and predisposes users to future tobacco use. With a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use by high school students and a 48 percent increase by middle school students, this issues has become of grave concern. I remain committed to protecting children from this epidemic.”

Other senators who coauthored SB 793 also shared comments.

Senator Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, said: “We’ve seen a troubling explosion of kids and teens using flavored tobacco designed to appeal to them. By passing SB 793, the legislature is demonstrating its commitment to prioritizing children’s health by getting rid of these harmful products.”

Senator Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, said: “I am proud to be a coauthor of SB 793. I would like to thank Senator Hill for his leadership on this issue. Today, as a state, we have taken bold action to stop a new generation from getting hooked on nicotine.”

Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, said: “Flavored tobacco products are targeted to addict our youth. Thank you, Senator Hill, for your dedication to this cause - our kid’s safety and health depends on us coming together against Big Tobacco.”

Senator Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, said: “I was pleased to see that SB 793 was signed by Governor Newsom today. It is legislation like this that will help protect the health of our children, as well as rural communities, which have some of the highest smoking rates in California. SB 793 will be a significant step toward reducing the number of teens who start vaping before the legal age and I am proud to have co-authored the bill.”

Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, said: “We must do everything possible to protect Californians, especially young people, from unhealthy products like flavored tobacco. I'm proud to support Senator Hill's bill, which will do just that.”

Senator Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach, said: “As a coauthor I am thrilled that Senator Hill’s legislation banning the sale of flavored tobacco in California was signed into law today. E-cigarettes and flavored tobacco are reversing years of progress in reducing youth tobacco use, and are creating a whole new generation of young Californians that will be addicted to nicotine. SB 793 is a critical public health measure and represents a hard fought victory in the ongoing battle against youth smoking in California.”

Senate Majority Leader Senator Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, said: “I applaud the Governor’s decision to sign the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act into law, as it shows that California remains committed to making the health and safety of our kids a major priority, and not the profits of the predatory tobacco companies.”

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, said: “Flavored tobacco is part of Big Tobacco’s devious campaign to create lifetime customers by hooking them while they are young. These highly addictive products are marketed to young people with enticing flavors like cotton candy and brightly colored packaging. As a result, tobacco use among young people has risen at an alarming rate. I am proud to be a co-author of this critical legislation to stop the epidemic of highly addictive tobacco usage among California’s youth. SB 793 will save lives.”

Senator Connie Leyva, D-Chino, said: “As a proud coauthor of SB 793, I was pleased to vote for this important bill on the Senate Floor. It is long overdue that we ban flavored tobacco products—which are clearly targeted at our kids—since many young people are first introduced to tobacco through those flavored products. SB 793 will help to save the health—and even lives—of countless Californians.”

Senator Bill Monning, D-Carmel, said: “I was pleased to support SB 793. The bill will protect California's youth and the health of our communities, and I applaud Senator Hill for his persistence and leadership on this important issue.”

Senator Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, said: “Distance learning has added feelings of isolation and anxiety among teens, traits that make them very easy prey to tobacco use. Taking away the lure of flavored tobacco will encourage them to find healthier ways to cope.”

Senator Anthony Portantino, D- La Cañada-Flintridge, said: “Vaping was a problem for our children before Covid and continues to be a serious problem that needs a solution.  As a dad and a legislator I commend Senator Hill for his dedication and I’m happy to be a coauthor of this effort to protect the lungs and health of Californians from these harmful products.”

Senator Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, said: “As a former teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how easy it is for students to become addicted to flavored tobacco products and use them in school hallways and restrooms. This bill is a big step in stopping Big Tobacco from addicting our kids. As a coauthor of SB 793, I know there is more work to do and will continue to protect our kids.”

Senator Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said: “By signing SB 793, Governor Newsom has put the health of every Californian first and rejected Big Tobacco’s blatant targeting of our youth through its flavored tobacco products. I applaud the work of Sen. Hill in championing this bill through the Legislature and am proud to be one of its many co-authors.”

Here is the list of the 64 legislators who have signed on as coauthors of SB 793: Senators Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, Mike McGuire, D-North Coast/North Bay, Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, are joint authors of the bill. Senator Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, and Assemblymembers Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, and Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, are principal coauthors. The coauthors in upper house are Senators Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, Jim Beall, D-San Jose, Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, Bill Dodd, D-Napa, Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach, Robert Hertzberg, D- Van Nuys, Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, Connie M. Leyva, D-Chino, Bill Monning, D-Carmel, Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada-Flintridge, and Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, and Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont. Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas, Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles, Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park, David Chiu, D-San Francisco, Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordoba, Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, Jim Frazier, D-Fairfield, Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, Jesse Gabriel, D-Woodland Hills, Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, Timothy Grayson, D-Concord, Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, Marc Levine, D-Marin County, Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, Evan Low, D-Silicon Valley, Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys, Patrick O'Donnell, D-Long Beach, Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Laguna Beach, Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, Eloise Gómez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, Luz Rivas, D-Arleta, Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay, Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, are also coauthors.

Comments from assemblymembers earlier in the week can be found here.

Updated August 29, 2020 to add comments from Assemblymember Jim Wood.

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Governor’s Announcement of Signing:
https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/08/28/governor-newsom-signs-legislation-8-28-20/

SB 793 Fact Sheet:
https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/sb_793_hill_flavored_tobacco_fact_sheet_updated_8-28-2020.pdf

Flavored Tobacco Policy by State & Local Governments:
https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd13.senate.ca.gov/files/state_and_local_flavor_bans.pdf

Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov