SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Six state legislators led by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, announced Thursday they are proposing a law to ban store sales of flavored electronic cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.
The purpose is to halt combat the rise in nicotine consumption by youths, Hill said.
The senator said he will introduce the bill when the state Legislature reconvenes in Sacramento next week.
“We must stop the appalling epidemic of e-cigarette use by youths,” Hill said in a statement.
“Enticed by fruit, candy and other appealing flavors, high school and middle school students throughout the U.S. are vaping in record numbers,” he said.
The proposed law would ban sales in retail stores and vending machines of flavored e-cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Violators would face civil penalties ranging from $400 to $600 for the first incident to $5,000 to $6,000 for a fifth violation in a five-year period.
Online sales and telephone and mail sales would still be allowed, but sellers would have to verify that buyers are 21 or over, and the signature of a person 21 or over would be required to accept delivery.
A number of Bay Area cities counties have already passed bans on flavored tobacco, including a voter-passed measure in San Francisco and moves by supervisors in San Mateo and Marin counties to restrict sales.
The bill’s co-authors are state Sens. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda; Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco; Connie Leyva, D-Chino, and Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge; and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento.
Glazer said, “Flavored e-cigarettes are luring young people into a nicotine addiction that can lead to a lifetime of harmful health effects. This needs to stop before we get another generation hooked on nicotine and tobacco.”
The legislators noted that groups supporting such a ban include the American Heart Association, the California branch of the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
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