BREATHE Policy Update

Prop 56

Vote Yes on Prop 56!

Increasing the tobacco tax by $2 is one of the most effective strategies to reduce tobacco use and addiction. When tobacco is priced higher, consumers use less, more people quit, and it makes it more difficult for kids to ever start. The funds raised by this fee will help to continue supporting tobacco prevention programs in schools and communities. It will advance research of nicotine addiction to help users overcome their disease. It will provide funding for research on new forms of nicotine delivery systems, like electronic smoking devices (E.g. e-cigarettes or vapes) and the aerosol emitted from them. And it will cover health care costs associated with tobacco-related diseases.

Proposition 56 will be paid by tobacco and nicotine users and NOT everyone else! Right now, ALL taxpayers in California pay for tobacco-related health care costs, death and lost productivity in the amount of $6.5 billion annually.

Proposition 56 will benefit kids, tobacco users and those with tobacco-related diseases. Join Breathe California, the many other environmental organizations, schools, businesses and health agencies by voting Yes on Proposition 56. For more information or to volunteer getting the word out, please visit

Tobacco Control Bills

August 2016 marked another ‘big win’ for tobacco control advocates. Tobacco control advocates are crossing their fingers as six new tobacco bills await approval and signature by the Governor, in addition to the bills (tobacco to 21 and the inclusion of electronic smoking devices in current tobacco control laws) that went into effect earlier this summer in June. The deadline for the Governor to either sign or veto bills is September 30th.

The following six bills have been approved by the Legislature and await the Governor’s action:

  • AB 1594 (McCarty – D, Sacramento) – Public postsecondary education: prohibitions of using tobacco and smoking on UC, CSU and community college campuses
  • Summary: Would, beginning January 1, 2018, prohibit smoking, including the use of an electronic smoking device, and the use of a tobacco product on a campus of the California State University or the California Community Colleges. The bill would authorize the governing bodies of the California State University and each community college district to set standards for the enforcement of that prohibition and to conduct a positive educational campaign to increase the awareness of a tobacco- and smoke-free policy.

  • AB 1696 (Holden – D, Pasadena) – Medi‐Cal: Tobacco cessation services
  • Summary: Would provide that, only to the extent that federal financial participation is available and not otherwise jeopardized, and any necessary federal approvals have been obtained, tobacco cessation services are covered benefits, subject to utilization controls, under the Medi-Cal program and would require those services to include all intervention recommendations, as periodically updated, assigned a grade A or B by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and include quit attempts based upon medical necessity, as specified.

  • AB 1901 (Quirk – D, Hayward) – Taxation: cigarettes: unaffixed stamps
  • Summary: The Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law imposes a fine of up to $50,000, as specified, or imprisonment not to exceed one year in county jail, or both, for possessing, selling, or buying false or fraudulent cigarette tax stamps or meter impressions, and requires the destruction by the State Board of Equalization of any stamps seized. This bill would extend those penalties for possessing, selling, or buying unaffixed cigarette tax stamps, and would require any fines assessed to be deposited in the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Compliance Fund.

  • AB 2770 (Nazarian – D, Sherman Oaks) – Cigarette and tobacco product licensing: fees and funding
  • Summary: The Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003 requires a retailer to have a license to engage in the sale of cigarette and tobacco products, and requires a separate license for each retail location. Current law imposes a fee for each license and provides that the license is valid for a 12-month period. On and after January 1, 2017, current law requires a license to be renewed annually and imposes a renewal fee. This bill would require a retailer that adds an additional retail location to renew the license for that location based on a 12-month period beginning in the month the retailer obtained its license for its first retail location. This bill would prohibit any license fee or renewal fee from being prorated.

  • SB 977 (Pan – D, Sacramento) – Tobacco: youth sports events
  • Summary: Would prohibit a person located in the same park or facility where a youth sports event is taking place from using a tobacco product, as defined, within 250 feet of the youth sports event, as defined, and make a violation an infraction punishable by a fine of $250 for each violation. The bill would make the use of tobacco on private property subject to those prohibitions. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

  • SB 1333 (Block – D, San Diego) – State beaches and parks: smoking ban
  • Summary: Current law makes it an infraction for a person to smoke a cigarette, cigar, or other tobacco-related product within 25 feet of a playground or tot lot sandbox area. This bill would make it an infraction for a person to smoke, as defined, on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system or to dispose of used cigar or cigarette waste on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system. The bill would establish a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime. This bill contains other related provisions and other current laws.

Here is what you can do:

Sacramento Capitol

Write a letter, send an email or call the Governor and ask him to sign the bills. You can contact him at:

  • Governor Jerry Brown
  • c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
  • Sacramento, CA 95814
  • Phone: (916) 445-2841
  • Fax: (916) 558-3160

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