Tobacco industry could ask California voters to overturn ban on flavored tobacco sales

August 31, 2020

Los Angeles Times
By Patrick McGreevy

SACRAMENTO —  California voters could be asked to overturn a new law banning the sale of flavored tobacco after opponents notified the state Monday of plans to seek a referendum on the measure.

A notice was filed with the state by an attorney who has represented firms including R.J. Reynolds, which led the opposition campaign to Senate Bill 793. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill on Friday and it takes effect Jan. 1.

Attorney Aaron Agenbroad is one of a group of three people who submitted papers to the state attorney general’s office for preparation of a title and summary for a possible referendum petition. He did not respond to requests for comment on who is behind the referendum.

If opponents qualify the referendum by collecting the signatures of 623,212 registered voters, the tobacco ban would be placed on hold until voters are given a chance to weigh in, possibly in 2022.