Neither vapers nor anti-vape activists want to give up in California. This has resulted in failed flavor banned bills, and a bill, CA SB 793, that continues to bounce around the legislative process.
California’s SB 793 is a bill that tried to introduce a flavor ban, and used a method of legislative approval that meant it was never meant to be put up for a popular vote. After being approved by several committees, the bill was signed by Newsom and was supposed to take effect on January 1, 2021.
However, determined vapers got enough signatures to issue a referendum on the bill. 623,212 signatures were needed to issue a referendum. Despite COVID, fires, and a generally chaotic year, an estimated 1,023,529 signatures were collected in favor of repealing SB 793. Instead of flavors being banned in January, the issue of flavor bans will most likely be put to popular vote in the 2022 election.
Unfortunately for California vapers, SB 793 is separate from the nicotine tax increase, which is part of Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget plan. Although flavored vapes with an ongoing PMTA process will still be available, they will be expensive. Additionally, this does not overturn any areas that have decided to ban flavored vapes before the statewide ban, such as San Francisco.
A huge thank you to all the vapers who signed for the referendum and collected signatures. Unfortunately, this is a very long battle that is going to last at least two more years. When 2022 comes, everyone needs to get out to vote again. So stay safe and keep fighting!
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