August 31, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Gov Newsom signs Calif ban on sales of flavored tobacco products

On Friday, August 28, shortly after the Senate unanimously passed SB 793, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law in a Zoom meeting.  (He is second from the left in the bottom row.)   The thing I like best about this screen shot is that it includes most (but not all) of the people who have worked so hard on SB 793 for the last two years.

There is no question that this is a huge loss for the big tobacco companies and their surrogates (led by Rev Al Sharpton, who should be protecting African Americans from predatory tobacco companies and their menthol cigarettes and little cigars, not working to protect tobacco profits).  It is also a huge loss for Adam Gray, chair of the Assembly Government Organizations Committee and Big Tobacco's best friend in the California legislature, who failed to stop SB 793 despite the huge campaign contributions the tobacco companies have invested in him in recent years.

This victory should also send a strong message to the FDA as thy start assessing whether e-cigarettes (and other new flavored tobacco products) are “appropriate for the protection of public health” as the law requires them to do.  The public does not want these products out there appealing to kids.  It is also time for FDA to deal with menthol.

Moreover, the FDA has to deal with internet sales.  SB 793 could not regulate internet sales because of interstate commerce issues.  There is a huge literature saying that there is no meaningful way to keep kids from buying tobacco products on the internet that has been submitted to FDA in numerous public comments.  Any PMTAs FDA issues should only permit in-person sales.

But, enough whining.  This is a time to celebrate the win and Senator Jerry Hill and all the great people who worked so hard to secure it.


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