California Prohibits Retailers from Selling Flavored Tobacco Products

On November 8, 2022, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 31, effectively prohibiting the sale of most flavored tobacco products in California and delivering a victory for Californians over the tobacco industry. This ballot measure upholds a state law, Senate Bill 793 (Chapter 34, Statutes of 2020), that Governor Newsom signed in 2020 but has been suspended for more two years after the tobacco industry initiated a referendum effort to prolong sales of flavored tobacco products. The following tobacco products are now prohibited:

  • Flavored e-cigarettes or vapes, e-juice, pods, or cartridges,
  • Menthol cigarettes,
  • Flavored little cigars and cigarillos,
  • Flavored loose leaf roll-your-own tobacco,
  • Flavored smokeless tobacco products,
  • Flavored Tobacco Rolling Papers, and
  • Tobacco product flavor enhancers.

This law will take effect the fifth calendar day after the Secretary of State certifies the election results. Certification is expected on December 16, 2022, and the law is anticipated to go into effect on December 21, 2022.

The passing of Proposition 31 to uphold SB 793 is a huge win for California’s tobacco prevention efforts and the protection of youth and priority populations. This law is especially important because it will ban the sale of menthol cigarettes in California, which was notably the only cigarette flavor exempted in the 2009 Family Smoking and Prevention and Tobacco Control Act’s ban on flavored cigarettes in the United States.

California is the second state in the nation, after Massachusetts, to pass a broad law prohibiting the sale of most flavored tobacco products. On behalf of the California Tobacco Control Program, we would like to thank Local Lead Agencies, Competitive Grantees, voluntary organizations, evaluation and surveillance contractors, and community partners for the hard work you have done on local policies that laid the foundation for this new state law.

Please be sure to check out the SB793 Implementation Resource Page for implementation materials you can use, the California Flavored Tobacco Law website, and the SB793 Factsheet for helpful retailer information and resources. To encourage people wanting to quit tobacco use to do so, promote Kick It California’s website and free services offered through many different modalities.