Will Calif. really permanently ban tobacco sales for Gen Z?

A new bill seeks to ban sales of tobacco products to any Californian born after 2006.

Fresh off a decisive victory at the ballot box in November, California’s war with tobacco is taking on a new front. 

Lawmakers in Sacramento are eyeing a new measure to eventually ban the sale of tobacco outright. 


The big picture: California voters confirmed a previous measure to ban flavored tobacco products – led by a boom in e-cigarettes but coupled with deep purchases of menthol smokes – after tobacco manufacturers attempted to save the emerging product segment.

  • Now, lawmakers have rolled out Assembly Bill 935, a measure which would prohibit individuals born after 2006 from purchasing tobacco products in perpetuity. 
  • The measure structures financial penalties for tobacco retailers who violate the sales prohibitions for younger Californians. 
  • Despite the move to ban future long-term tobacco use, the law exempts hookah bars and marijuana retailers from selling to those born after 2006. 

What they’re saying: “We can ensure that the next generation of children in California do not become addicted to smoking,” said bill author, Asm. Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael). 

  • “This has no redeeming value whatsoever other than a waste of time for the Legislature,” Charles Janigian, president of the California Association of Retail Tobacconists told Sacramento TV station KCRA, noting that it could deliver loss of significant tax dollars that fund health-related programs.
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