On May 4th, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed a group of bills that will raise the smoking age in California from 18 to 21 and significantly limit the use of e-cigarettes in public places. This further cements California's stand against big tobacco. The new legislation reclassifies vapor products as tobacco products meaning smokers will no longer be permitted to smoke in places cigarettes are banned like movie theaters, workplaces, and restaurants.
Business owners in the Vape, Hookah and e-cigarette industry are not happy about the reclassification. Representatives of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association feel that by reclassifying and stigmatizing vapor products, which act as a method for smokers wishing to quit is counter-productive to public health. Although this bill comes in the wake of an alarming report stating that teen usage of e-cigarettes and vapes has increased dramatically between 2013 when 660,000 high school age teens reported using, to 2014 when 2,000,000 reported using e-cigs.
Supporters of the bill claim that tobacco us is still one of the leading causes of preventable death in the US. Senator Ed Hernandez, the author of the bill, remarked, "Today was an enormous victory for not only this generation, but also for so many generations to come who will not suffer the deadly impacts of tobacco."
The new legislation would go into effect on June 9th.
Our Attorneys Can Help You
If you are a business owner that was arrested or cited for selling tobacco to minors after the new regulations had gone into effect, or if you are a minor arrested for smoking tobacco or vape products underage, our Fresno Criminal defense attorneys can help you. With over 30 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys can relentlessly fight for you.