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Proposition 31: New California Vaping Law Bans Flavored Products

New California Vaping Law Bans Flavored Nicotine

California has once again led the charge in controlling public health. This past election, voters approved Proposition 31. The new California vaping law reaffirms the SB-793 ban on flavored nicotine products which the state legislature passed two years previously in August 2020. This controversial ban primarily aims to protect youth. One study found that 80% of youth who started vaping before age 15 currently use flavored e-cigarettes. Other studies repeatedly show that up to 98% of school-going youth who vaped used flavors. But this new California vaping law does not ban flavored nicotine sales entirely. Adults in California still maintain the ability to buy flavored nicotine under certain conditions.

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New California Vaping Law

The proposition passed in November 2022 settled a two-year-long dispute between the California state legislature and the tobacco industry. This started when the legislature passed a flavored tobacco sale ban in 2020. Since then, the over-the-counter sale of flavored nicotine has been in limbo. But in 2022, voters reaffirmed the ban:

California Proposition 31. Upholds state law barring the sale of flavored tobacco.
Yes 63.4% 6,803,424
No 36.6% 3,923,383

The original Senate Bill 793 (S.B. 793) added sections to the state’s health and safety code that would prohibit brick-and-mortar stores and vending machines from “selling, offering for sale, or possessing with the intent to sell or offer for sale, a flavored tobacco product or a tobacco product flavor enhancer.” The statute defined flavored tobacco product as meaning “any tobacco product that contains a constituent that imparts a characterizing flavor”. That completely covers flavored cartridges for e-cigarettes and vape products.

But it’s not an entirely comprehensive list. So what exactly can be sold under the new vaping laws?

  • Flavored hookah and shisha: Limited to 21 and over. Must be sold by a licensed hookah tobacco retailer. Does not apply to electronic hookah products.
  • Flavored pipe tobacco: Loose leaf tobacco that is cut or shredded for pipes. Usually sold in pouches. Does not include product suitable for cigarettes.
  • Flavored premium cigars: Must be handmade, utilize a tobacco leaf wrapper, and have a wholesale price of no less than $12. Cannot have filter or tip.

Outside of these specific pipe tobacco and cigar exceptions, options for buying flavored nicotine products in California still exist.

California Vaping Law Online Sales

Although in-store sales of flavored nicotine products have been banned, the state has not outlawed sales completely. A loophole remains for online sales, so individuals may still buy flavored nicotine products through online stores. However, California upholds strict regulations for legal online tobacco sales. So shops need to maintain strict adherence to the PACT Act and the California STAKE Act. Sellers need to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for any shipments made and verify that buyers are at least 21 years of age.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Newport Beach, California

The new California vaping law aims to curb nicotine addiction in California. Nicotine has high correlation to poor health outcomes including increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal disorders. Addiction to any substance tends to come with serious health and lifestyle consequences. Blue Coast Behavioral Health offers substance use disorder treatment in Newport Beach, California. Call one of our admissions counselors today to ask about open beds: 855-997-4702

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