On November 8, 2022, California voters upheld the state law, Senate Bill (SB) 793 (Chapter 34, Statutes of 2020), prohibiting tobacco retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products. Please visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information on the election results.
What is the law?
The state law prohibits the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes, as well as tobacco product flavor enhancers in retail locations, including stores and vending machines, in California. (Health and Safety Code Section 104559.5)
What Retailers Should Know
Retailers, their agents or their employees will be found guilty of an infraction and fined $250 for violation of this law.
The penalties apply to retailers, their agents or their employees who sell, offer for sale, or posses with intent to sell or offer for sale most flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine or other vaporized liquids and menthol cigarettes, as well as tobacco product flavor enhancers.
This law does not punish or criminalize anyone for purchasing, using, or possessing with the intent to use a flavored tobacco product or tobacco product flavor enhancer.
The law does not apply to flavored premium cigars with a wholesale price of $12 or more and flavored loose-leaf pipe tobacco. Flavored shisha/hookah tobacco may only be sold in licensed stores that only allow people 21 or older on the premises at any time. Licensed stores must also operate in accordance with all state or local laws relating to the sale of tobacco and consumption of tobacco on the premises (for hookah retailers that permit consumption of tobacco on the premises).
Local jurisdictions may have more restrictive laws. It is the retailer’s responsibility to know and comply with all federal, state and local laws regarding the sale and distribution of tobacco products.
SB 793 (Hill, Chapter 34, Statute of 2020)
Flavored tobacco products: prohibits the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes, as well as tobacco product flavor enhancers, at retail locations in California.
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