If you live in California and enjoy a flavored tobacco product, you’re about to be out of luck.
Californians voted overwhelmingly to ban flavored tobacco products, including vapes, making them the largest state to ban such products. The ban also includes menthol cigarettes because federal regulators have suggested that they make tobacco products easier to start and harder to quit.
Michael Seilback, national assistant vice president of state public policy at the American Lung Association, said of the measure, “Tonight, once again, Californians voted to protect kids and stand up to Big Tobacco. This is a game changer.”
Several smaller states have already passed laws against them (including Rhode Island, New Jersey and Massachusetts).
The idea is to make tobacco less appealing to young people, who vastly prefer flavored products. According to recent data from the CDC, more than 84% of young people who vape use flavored products.
The vote ends a multi-year battle between California and the tobacco industry. It all started in 2020 when lawmakers voted to ban flavored products, but the tobacco industry fought back and pushed for it to go to popular vote.