Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

August 24, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The Assembly just passed SB 793 50-0.  Now it goes back to the Senate to vote on the amendments introduced in the Assembly.

Well, at least the tobacco companies supported the California economy with their ad campaign against the bill.

UPDATE

After the vote closed, a few Assembly members changed thir votes.  The final vote was 56 yes, 1 no, 22 nt voting.

August 24, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Last week the California Assembly Appropriations Committee stood up to major pressure from the tobacco companies and their allies ad advanced SB 793, which prohibits the sale of almost all flavored tobacco products – including menthol – in California to the full Assembly on a strong 13-3 vote with 2 abstaining.

 

To become law the Assembly needs to pass the bill and the Senate needs to agree to the Assembly amendments by August 31.

 

The industry did succeed in getting a few exemptions as the bill moved through the process, including for flavored hookah, premium cigars, and pipe tobacco. While these exemptions are unfortunate the key provisions, banning menthol and including e-cigarettes, little cigars, and smokeless tobacco, remain intact.

 

August 24, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Last week the California Assembly Appropriations Committee stood up to major pressure from the tobacco companies and their allies ad advanced SB 793, which prohibits the sale of almost all flavored tobacco products – including menthol – in California to the full Assembly on a strong 13-3 vote with 2 abstaining.

To become law the Assembly needs to pass the bill and the Senate needs to agree to the Assembly amendments by August 31.

The industry did succeed in getting a few exemptions as the bill moved through the process, including for flavored hookah, premium cigars, and pipe tobacco. While these exemptions are unfortunate the key provisions, banning menthol and including e-cigarettes, little cigars, and smokeless tobacco, remain intact.

Now, the tobacco companies are using the exemptions they won to argue against the bill in a massive advertising campaign directed at legislators in a last ditch effort to stop the bill.  (See below for one example).  Does this mean that Big Tobacco would support the bill without these exemptions?  Of course not.

So far, California’s political leaders have seen through these disingenuous arguments.  Indeed, they are an insult to the intelligence of our legislators.

August 20, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Big tobacco mounts ad blitz against Calif flavor ban (SB 793) making its usual failing arguments

The big tobacco companies have launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign in a last ditch effort to stop SB 793.  My favorite ad so far is one urging Assembly members to vote against the bill because it will reduce anti-tobacco education (copy below).  Their unstated argument is that without flavors kids would buy fewer tobacco products, which would reduce tobacco taxes, some of which goes to education to reduce tobacco use.

This is the same argument that they made in their unsuccessful campaign to defeat Proposition 56, a big tobacco tax on the ballot in 2016. 

The public wasn’t tricked by this argument then.  Hopefully the Assembly won’t be tricked now.

A related argument that the tobacco interests are making is that SB 793 would reduce tax income to the state at a time of growing demands because of COVID-19 and, now, wildfires. 

While it is true that SB 793 would reduce tobacco tax income, it is likely that there would be a net increase in California economic activity, including associated tax income.

August 18, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Senator Jerry Hill and Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty and Jim Wood have written the FDA urging it to take immediate action against illegal therapeutic and modified risk claims that Swedish Match (through a lobbyist) is making about their products.  (PDF of letter)

 

This is yet another example of tobaco companies misrepresenting FDA action on their products.  The FDA needs to heed their request and begin immediate enforcement actions.

 

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