Legislature raises CA smoking age to 21; pending Brown’s signature


CigaretteTriggering the sort of speculation about nationwide change California’s new regulations often inspire, legislators approved bills raising the legal age for smoking and vaping to 21.

“The California state Senate voted Thursday to raise the legal age to buy and use cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old,” Slate noted. “The anti-smoking legislation had already been passed by the state Assembly and is now just the governor’s signature away from making California only the second state (along with Hawaii) to raise the age individuals can consume tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.”

Domino effect

Analysts swiftly turned attention to the likelihood of other states adopting similar rules. Already, the Associated Press reported, “dozens of cities, including New York and San Francisco, have passed similar laws of their own.” Thomas Carr, the American Lung Association’s director of national policy, told the Huffington Post he suspected “Massachusetts and New York are likely candidates” to follow suit, “since their biggest cities have raised the smoking age to 21 in recent years.” But some observers, according to the Huffington Post, have noted that cigarette use tends to plunge more as a result of higher taxes than age restrictions.

Only one loophole survived California’s new strictures. “American law and custom has long accepted that people can make adult decisions on their 18th birthday and live with the consequences,” opponents insisted, according to the AP, noting that the milestone permits Americans to “register to vote, join the military, sign legally binding contracts, consent to sex and do just about any legal activity besides buying alcohol. In response, Democrats changed the bill to allow members of the military to continue buying cigarettes at 18.”

That concession granted, the legislation advanced. “The higher age limit, part of a package of anti-tobacco bills, won approval despite intense lobbying from tobacco interests and fierce opposition from many Republicans, who said the state should butt out of people’s personal health decisions, even if they are harmful,” the AP noted.

A vape crackdown

TBEC Review / flickr

TBEC Review / flickr

Perhaps the most significant change ushered in by the six interrelated laws making up the suite of anti-smoking legislation — assuming they receive Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature — affects electronic cigarettes, “classifying them as tobacco products. ‘Vaping’ devices are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and critics have described them as a gateway to more harmful, combustible tobacco,” the Orange County Register noted.

“The bill passed by the Legislature classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products would subject them to the same restrictions on who can purchase them and where they can be used, meaning they would be banned from bars, workplace break rooms and hotel lobbies.”

“Among Orange County teens, the 2014 California Healthy Kids Survey found that 9 percent of 11th-graders polled had smoked cigarettes, while 20 percent reported vaping e-cigarettes,” the paper added. Vapes have been big business in California, driven by shifting preferences among consumers largely convinced that e-cigarettes offer a less hazardous product with a comparably enjoyable experience to traditional tobacco smoking.

Foregone conclusion

Although the governor’s office declined to comment on the likelihood of the bills being signed into law, overwhelming support among Sacramento Democrats has cemented the view that Brown won’t stand in their way. “An expanded ban on smoking in workplaces and permission for counties to begin introducing local taxes on tobacco sales were among the other proposals passed Thursday, almost entirely with support from Democratic lawmakers,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “The only proposal to attract notable opposition from Democrats was the expanded ban on smoking in workplaces, which will remove exemptions for hotel lobbies, warehouse facilities, gaming clubs, bars and businesses with five or fewer employees.”


Write a comment
  1. Queeg
    Queeg 12 March, 2016, 09:20


    It’s obviously on!

    Taking away your freedoms one by one, the march to Utopian State.

    Next is your CVS and Walgreen gourmet wine selections.

    Reply this comment
  2. ricky65
    ricky65 12 March, 2016, 10:00

    Our esteemed Demo legis-rats understand that raising the smoking age to 21 may be curtailing some people’s personal freedoms.
    To deflect criticism about stealing yet another personal liberty from the people, they intend to compensate for the loss by lowering the legal age to smoke pot to 5 years old.

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 12 March, 2016, 12:40

      “… they intend to compensate for the loss by lowering the legal age to smoke pot to 5 years old.”
      No wonder Teddy Steals brain is not normal, he has been smoking the whacky tobacky since the age of 5!

      Reply this comment
  3. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 12 March, 2016, 10:46

    more on e-cigs by Dr. Michael Siegel, an anti- smoking zealot who testified at the congressional anti- tobacco hearings:

    Reply this comment
  4. Mamamia
    Mamamia 12 March, 2016, 10:52

    At 18 you can go to war and vote. This shows how incompetent our legislature is. There are many important things they could be doing FOR us instead of policing lifestyles. No word on age limits for their favorite drug Marijuana! That is a free-for all, and it is going to be devastating to the children of this state who still have growing brains! That is much more serious.

    Reply this comment
  5. desmond
    desmond 13 March, 2016, 06:09

    I have a new way of dealing with situations like this. For those, like me , that need to watch TVland, to discover the recent past in pop culture. I imagine the Governor signng this, surrounded by De Leon, Rendon, Newsome, Kampala, a host of other idiots, corrupt perverts, and they are all………………..coneheads.
    It is soothing to hear Hillary barking like a well warted, senile hag, from my TV set, looking up from my laptop, and she is a………conehead.
    And of course, the President. The deal with Iran makes total sense when you see he and Mr. Heinz-Kerry as………coneheads.
    Conservatives, Liberals, Moderates, this is a game changer in American politics.
    God Bless America.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 March, 2016, 10:47

    Nomination: From this day forward Desi shall be known as A Man Of Letters, a distinguished CWD award for delusional doomers.

    I know Teddy and Saw would consider approval of this important nomination.

    Reply this comment
    • TT Ted
      TT Ted 14 March, 2016, 13:03

      Approved– by the Ted Steele System ™

      Reply this comment
      • ricky65
        ricky65 16 March, 2016, 15:54

        For the uninitiated to this site who might be wondering just what is the trademarked Ted Steele system here’s the deal:
        It’s called: Get on the government tit and stay on it.
        No big mystery really. Same idea as the rest of the Dema-Rat party faithful.

        Reply this comment
        • Rex the Wonder Dog!
          Rex the Wonder Dog! 16 March, 2016, 20:14

          For the uninitiated to this site who might be wondering just what is the trademarked Ted Steele system here’s the deal:
          It’s called: Get on the government tit and stay on it.

          Hahahahaha…Teddy Steals will NEVER recover from that smack down, in fact what few brain cells he had are not wiped out~!
          Teddy is a Geek/TroughFeeder/Moron?Stooge all rolled into one!”

          Teddy’s Senior year pic from high school!

          Reply this comment
          • ricky65
            ricky65 16 March, 2016, 20:35

            Good one, Rex. Actually Demen-Ted has even fewer teeth these days if that’s possible. It’s that meth thing you know that did it.
            At the rest home where he resides, the staff has to duct tape his mouth shut after dinner to keep the oatmeal from dripping off his chin.

  7. Donkey
    Donkey 13 March, 2016, 11:21

    Control of the minds and bodies of others is what excites the liberal mind, and of course stealing other peoples money. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  8. Brandon
    Brandon 13 March, 2016, 21:36

    BullS**T! The system is so corrupt these days, the government needs to mind their own this is not an issue they need to be controlling, a personal decision that only harms yourself, no intoxication from nicotine! Smokers will just have to find other ways to get tobacco if they are under 21, nobody is going to quit because they aren’t old enough. Considering that Jerry Brown is Liberal, he will most likely sign it but it will cause opposition from many Conservatives and smokers, not to mention Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds!

    Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 15 March, 2016, 09:29


    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Tags assigned to this article:

Related Articles

CA accelerates delayed robocar rules

Slowly but surely, driverless — or “self-driving” — cars will make their way onto California streets. Despite a string of

Texas Latinos out-achieve CA Latinos in broad array of categories

Heritage Foundation senior editor Mike Gonzalez has a new book out this month, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives

Voters affirm CA fracking

After a lot of spending and acrimony, little has changed from California’s high-profile ballot measures to ban hydraulic fracturing, which injects