Anti-smoking bills progress

Democratic lawmakers in California push package of smoking-related measures

A package of six anti-smoking bills authored by Democratic lawmakers recently advanced in the California Legislature. It includes measures to raise the smoking age to 21 and add e-cigarettes to the legal definition of tobacco products.

The Senate Committee on Public Health and Developmental Services approved the package on Aug. 19, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill that would designate vaping devices as tobacco products—therefore subjecting them to the same restrictions in public spaces—was proposed by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). It also would allow for sting operations to catch retailers who sell e-cigs to minors and require child-resistant packaging.

The four additional bills would: expand the definition of smoke-free workplaces; require all schools be designated smoke-free areas; allow local jurisdictions to tax tobacco products; and create an annual Board of Equalization tobacco licensing fee program.