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News

Big news in tobacco control

George Haws

We got 1-2-3 items of great news this week:

CALIFORNIA PASSES TOBACCO 21 LAW

The governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed the bill making California the second state to require the purchasers of tobacco products be at least 21 years old. This is excellent news, and will do a lot to reduce youth tobacco initiation and use in California. It provides a disconnect between children and older friends who legally buy electronic cigarettes, regular cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products and give it to underage youth.

 See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/05/05/california-raises-age-to-purchase-tobacco-to-21.html

Hawaii passed similar legislation last year, and several states are currently considering similar legislation. A Tobacco 21 bill in New Jersey was vetoed earlier this year by Governor Chris Christie.

HIGH COURTS RULE IN FAVOR OF GRAPHIC WARNINGS AND BANS ON FLAVORINGS

High courts have ruled that graphic warning requirements on tobacco packaging will stand in India, and European Union bans on flavored tobacco products are also legal.

Many countries in the world have graphic warnings on tobacco packaging. They include Canada, Mexico, Brazil and nearly all other Central and South American countries, France, the U.K., Russia and much of the rest of Europe, Australia, South Korea, India, Mongolia and other Asian countries.

Bans on flavorings are also very important, because they help reduce the lure of tobacco products, especially for youth.

THE FDA IS TAKING OVERSIGHT OF ALL TOBACCO AND E-CIGARETTE PRODUCTS

In a long anticipated ruling, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is taking oversight of tobacco products besides cigarettes, which were already regulated. After 90 days, the federal government will prohibit the sales of any of these products to anyone under the age of 18. This is already written into state law in Nebraska and many other states.

The agency also announced that additional rules are forthcoming, including an extension of the ban on cigarette flavorings (except menthol), to all other tobacco products, except e-cigarettes (electronic nicotine delivery systems).