California is one signature away from becoming the second state to require individuals to be 21 to purchase tobacco products.
As expected, the California Senate approved at least five anti-tobacco bills today, including one that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21.
The legislation still needs to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, something that is ultimately expected to happen.
Each bill came from last year’s special session on healthcare. Anti-tobacco groups and anti-tobacco Democrats in the legislature took advantage of the special rules to make their push easier. The six bills passed are.
- S.B.X2 5 — Would classify e-cigarettes and vaping devices as “tobacco products.”
- S.B.X2 6 — Would extend the smoking ban to most businesses with more than five employees.
- S.B.X2 7 — Would increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
- S.B.X2 8 — Would promote tobacco-free policies and education programs at schools.
- S.B.X2 9 — Would allow for local governments to impose additional taxes on tobacco products.
ABC and others are reporting that six bills were passed, it’s unclear what the sixth was as only five were approved last week. There was some duplicate legislation, which is likely what the sixth bill is.
The measure to increase the cigarette tax to $2 per pack did not advance last week.