AB 935 will improve enforcement of California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products
- Aaron Vad
- Chief of Staff
- (916) 319-2012
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) passed Assembly Bill (AB) 935 through the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee with overwhelming support on a 16-4 vote. In 2022, 63 percent of California voters, via Proposition 31, upheld state law prohibiting tobacco retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products. This groundbreaking prohibition covers flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and tobacco product flavor enhancers throughout California. Despite the overwhelming support from voters, flavored tobacco products continue to be sold in many stores across the state, allowing many teenagers to continue accessing these dangerous products. According to Tobacco Free Kids, 168,000 California high school students use some form of e-cigarettes.
“Preventing the next generation of Californians from becoming addicted to smoking should be a priority for all of us who care about the public health of our state and the well-being of our children” said Assemblymember Connolly. “Our flavored tobacco ban can help achieve this goal, but only if the law is properly enforced. AB 935 will allow CDPH and the Attorney General to better enforce the law and ensure children are being protected.”
In support of the bill, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network wrote, “The tobacco industry has shown time and again, they will do whatever they can to keep kid friendly and candy flavored tobacco products on the shelves of California retailers to hook the next generation on their deadly products.”
AB 935 will explicitly authorize the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Attorney General to enforce the flavored tobacco ban pursuant to the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids (STAKE) Act, consistent with other tobacco enforcement efforts in the state. AB 935 will also replace the subdivision from the Health and Safety code which makes violation of current law a misdemeanor and criminal penalty. Instead, pursuant to the STAKE Act, it will become a civil penalty to retailers, their agents, or their employees who are in violation.
AB 935 was referred to Assembly Appropriations and is awaiting a hearing.
Assemblymember Connolly represents the entirety of Marin County and Southern Sonoma County