California tobacco laws

Starting June 9th, the legal age for purchasing tobacco products in California will be changed from 18 to 21. Another new California law will also raise the age to 21 for the increasingly popular E-cigarette products. With these new restrictions on smoking, it is estimated that tobacco companies will lose somewhere around $250 million in revenue.


image taken from NPR

Many questions and issues are being raised with these new laws, between both smokers and nonsmokers as well. Some are unhappy with the idea of raising the age to 21 as they feel as if it defeats the purpose of classifying an adult at the age of 18. It will also affect those who are between the ages of 18-21, who have been purchasing cigarettes legally, as some feel like they are having their privelages taken away.

The new smoking and vaping laws in California are really being directed towards young people, and to help prevent adolescent addiction. Electronic cigarettes have been becoming more and more popular for young people in schools, and the new laws aim to make it much more difficult for teenagers to become addicted to vaping, as many of the products do contain nicotine.

Many people are also upset with the new approach to E-cigarettes, as research suggests that it is a much healthier alternative to smoking, and is even used as a method to help quit smoking. The Smoke- Free Alternatives Trade Assn had this to say after the introduction of these new laws: “California took a step backwards today by reclassifying vapor products as tobacco,” the group said in a statement. “Stigmatizing vapor products, which contain no tobacco, and treating them the same as combustible tobacco while actively seeking to economically penalize smokers attempting to switch is counterproductive to public health”.

Supporters of the bills noted that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with as many as 34,000 Californians dying each year. It is also important to consider that  90% of tobacco users start before the age of 21, and about 80% first try tobacco before age 18, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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