The days of adults under 21-years-old buying tobacco products in California has come to an end, as the state’s recently passed increase in the minimum purchase age goes into effect today.
The age increase was part of a package of anti-tobacco legislation signed into effect by Gov. Jerry Brown on May 4.
Included in that legislation was a reclassification of e-cigarettes and vaping devices as tobacco products, an extension of the smoking ban to most businesses with more than five employees and the launch of a new program that will promote tobacco-free policies and education programs at schools.
Retailers and wholesalers will also soon see an increase in the fees they pay to the state for doing business. The licensing fee for a tobacco retailer is going up from a one-time $100 fee to an annual $265 fee, while distributors and wholesalers will see an increase in their license fees from $1,000-1,200.
The only piece of legislation that Brown didn’t sign last month was one that would allow local municipalities to impose additional taxes on tobacco products. Brown said he was reluctant to sign that because of numerous other tax increases being proposed on the 2016 ballot.
California is the second state to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, joining Hawaii, which passed similar legislation last year that went into effect on Jan. 1. A third state could soon join the group as Massachusetts currently has a bill to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in its legislature, having passed its state senate in late April.