Assemblymember Connolly Amends Bill to Close Loophole in Flavored Tobacco Ban

For immediate release:


SACRAMENTO, CA – This Tuesday, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) will accept amendments in the Assembly Health Committee, which will change the direction of AB 935. This bill will now close an enforcement loophole in the flavored tobacco ban (SB 793, Hill) which was upheld by 63 percent of voters in 2022 and remains a current law in California statute. AB 935 will authorize the California Department of Health (CDPH) and the Attorney General (AG) to enforce the flavored tobacco ban pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 22950.5, also known as the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids (STAKE) Act. Currently, there is confusion among retailers regarding which products are prohibited. By authorizing CDPH and the Attorney General to enforce this important law, they will be able to provide uniform direction to ensure SB 793 is properly upheld and retailers have the information they need to stay in compliance with the law.


“We are disappointed we will not be continuing with the phased tobacco sales ban this year,” said Assemblymember Connolly. “However, we plan to bring it up again next year and redouble our efforts to bring all stakeholders on board. Flavored tobacco products continue to be sold in many stores across the state. The existing loophole allows teenagers to continue accessing these dangerous products and undermines the intent of the law. Preventing the next generation of Californians from becoming addicted to smoking should be a priority for anyone who cares about the public health of our state and the well-being of our children. SB 793 helps achieve this goal, but only if the law is properly enforced and upheld. AB 935 will thread the needle to close this problematic loophole.”


A recent survey published in the peer-reviewed journal Preventing Chronic Disease, asked 6,455 people nationwide: to what extent would they support a policy to prohibit the sale of all tobacco products. A little over 57 percent of respondents said they would support such a policy.


Former Senator Jerry Hill, author of SB 793, voiced his support of the amended version of AB 935. 


“I am excited to see this important legislation put forth, and thank Assemblymember Connolly for his long term and dedicated commitment to prevent youth tobacco addiction,” said Senator (ret.) Jerry Hill. “By strengthening the enforcement clause of SB 793 which had previously been unclear, AB 935 will doubtlessly save lives.”


AB 935 will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, April 11th




Assemblymember Connolly represents the entirety of Marin County and Southern Sonoma County