Assembly Bill 935 strengthens enforcement on the flavored tobacco ban law.
- Aaron Vad
- Chief of Staff
- (916) 319-2012
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Damon Connolly’s (D-San Rafael) Assembly Bill (AB) 935, which authorizes the California Department of Health and the Attorney General to better enforce the flavored tobacco ban pursuant to the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act, has passed successfully through the State Legislature. The bill is now headed to the governor for approval. Senate Bill (SB) 793, which went into effect December of 2022, prohibits tobacco retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products. However, this law lacks sufficient enforcement to effectively enact the ban. Despite overwhelming support from voters for SB 793, flavored tobacco products continue to be sold in many stores across the state. As a result, teenagers in our community continue to have access to these dangerous products in spite of current regulations.
“Prioritizing the public health of our community is paramount,” said Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael). “Preventing the next generation of Californians from developing a smoking addiction should be a top priority through better enforcement of flavored tobacco distribution. Keeping these products out of reach of teenagers in our community is a critical factor in maintaining public health. We must be proactive about the prevention of teenagers accessing illicit materials, starting with tighter restrictions on flavored tobacco.”
The availability of flavored tobacco products continues to be a public health issue, particularly amongst teenagers, due to inconsistent and inadequate enforcement. In 2019-2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported that 9.7 percent of California students have used a tobacco product in the last 30 days. Coupled with the addictive nature and negative health impacts of frequent tobacco use, complacent availability of flavored tobacco is detrimental to the health and safety of the next generation.
AB 935 is an update to SB 793, which prohibited the sale of most flavored tobacco products. AB 935 updates the prior law by implementing consistency between the consequences for violating the prohibition on sales of flavored tobacco with the consequences outlined in the STAKE Act. AB 935 serves to protect the public health of the community and keep dangerous substances out of the hands of teenagers who are vulnerable to addiction; preventing the next generation from becoming addicted to smoking is pertinent to the public health of our state.
AB 935 is on its way to the desk of the Governor for approval.
Assemblymember Connolly represents Assembly District 12, consisting of Marin County and Southern Sonoma County.