California Raises the Age for Tobacco and Tightens Vaping

California Raises the Legal Age for Tobacco

On Thursday May 5, 2016, just after 5:00 p.m., Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the strongest set of tobacco control bills the state has seen in years. After almost two years of legislative fights, tough committee votes, protests, and political threats, California has again secured its status as a leader in the fight against big tobacco.

The bills signed by Governor Brown respond to many pressing issues in tobacco control. The bills:

  • raise the age for legal access to tobacco to 21 years old;
  • align the regulation of e-cigarettes with our state’s tobacco control laws;
  • eliminate long-standing loopholes in state smoke-free workplace laws;
  • increase fees on tobacco retail licenses;
  • improve access to smoke-free programming in California schools.

Breathe California is proud to have fought alongside partners from the Save Lives California coalition from the moment these bills were introduced to receiving their signature. Our strongest advocates were our Breathe California Sacramento Emigrant Trails Youth Advisory Board. Students from around the region that took the time to come and testify about the importance of these bills before committees, at press conferences, and all the way to the Governor’s office.

California has, with these bills, regained its status as a leader in the fight against big tobacco. Because these bills work together, our state once again has the strongest protections in the nation to keep tobacco products (including e-cigarettes) out of the hands of young people.

Written by Matt Read, JD, Breathe Director of Government Statewide Relations.

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