September 20, 2022
Prop 31 in California is likely the final step of Senate Bill 793 (SB 793), a bill introduced and passed in the California State that would ban the sale of flavored vapes. Originally, SB 793 was a bill that was passed that banned the sale of any flavored tobacco product or flavor enhancers for tobacco products. At first, SB 793 passed. However, due to how California’s legislation works, it was challenged and the division will be given to voters during election season this November.
To clarify, yes, tobacco-free nicotine products would also be under SB 793 as they are now federally classified as tobacco products. So would anything that introduces new flavors to nicotine or cigarettes, including flavor additives to cigarettes or mix and vape style vape liquids.
Due to how confusing wording on ballots can be, this is the simplest way to know which way you want to vote on California’s Prop 31.
YES for Prop 31 means that you are FOR the ban on flavored tobacco products.
NO means that you are AGAINST the ban on flavored tobacco products.
Despite the logic behind the bill concluding that flavors make children smoke, there are still exemptions in the bill for hookah, pipe tobacco, and luxury cigars. Cigars and pipe tobacco are generally seen as high expense goods that do not market towards a young audience.
Sadly, whether or not the bill passes may not mean much. SB 793, the bill that outlined California’s vape ban, was written before the Pre Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) rejections made nearly all flavored vapes illegal to sell. That means most flavored vapes would still be illegal to sell in California, regardless of whether or not Prop 31 passes voter referendum.
Most supporters for Proposition 31 are for protection children from nicotine addiction. Most opponents of Proposition 31 stated that banning flavors does not stop children from vaping – ultimately, Prop 31 will simply hurt small stores and encourage a black market.
The arguments for and against Prop 31 are both rather old – we have seen the rise of a vape black market in the popularity of disposable vapes already. Many small stores simply did not survive the PMTA decisions. However, despite removing most legally available vape products from the market, youth vaping has only gone up.
Despite how bleak the situation sounds, voting is still important – There are many other, non-vape related pieces of legislation and officials to vote for besides Proposition 31.
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