A couple of weeks ago, as the California legislative session wound down, we were shocked to see two key anti-tobacco bills gutted. How could this happen in the state that has been among those leading the country in anti-tobacco laws and policies?
Wiser heads have prevailed, and the state legislature is holding a special session that will include some reconsideration of the anti-tobacco legislation. In light of this, the voices that have always stood for California’s health now must speak louder than ever.
The struggle against Big Tobacco isn’t yet won. We’ve made dramatic progress, but tobacco is still the number-one killer. In California and across the nation, it’s a time for increased vigilance. While we broaden our successes from tobacco to other concerns, like food and activity environments, we can’t abandon the fight against a killer industry that continues to expand its influence around the globe.
The following California bills need your support:
- SBX2-5, ABX2-6, which will classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products
- SBX2-7, ABX2-8, which will increase the state’s legal smoking age to 21 from 18
Let’s keep holding Big Tobacco’s feet to the fire. Spread the word to every Californian you know to voice support for these bills (residents can find out who their representatives are by clicking here).
Other anti-tobacco bills in the special session to support include:
- SBX2-6, ABX2-7, which would expand smoke-free workplace laws
- SBX2-8, ABX2-9, which would expand smoke-free school laws
- SBX2-9, ABX2-10, which would allow counties to impose taxes on tobacco distributors
- SBX2-10, ABX2-11, which would create an annual tobacco licensing fee
Kudos to tobacco control advocates and allies in the California legislature for proving that it wasn’t déjà vu with Big Tobacco’s influence. Momentum is on our side, as cities, counties and states are fighting back and standing up for public health—especially children’s—over the rights of corporations to profit off of products that endanger lives. It’s time to turn up the heat.