In another argument made against the exemptions, Rev. K.W. Tulloss, president of Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California, questioned the bill’s ban on menthol products, which appeal to Black smokers, but in turn exempt other products including premium cigars and hookah. In a statement, Tulloss called the bill disrespectful to “our community of color and their preference, while it exempts hookah products on behalf of Middle Eastern cultures.” Another lawmaker, Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), pointed out that the bill would ban retailers from selling these products but would not make it illegal for consumers to use or possess flavored tobacco products.
The bill’s supporters include the American Lung Association of California, American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society. In addition to some tobacco manufacturers, the Convenience Alliance, California Fuels and Convenience Alliance, and the California Chamber of Commerce are just some of the groups opposing the passage of S.B. 793.
The bill must be reconsidered by California’s Senate due to the amendments allowing for the exempted products from the flavor ban. If signed into law by the governor, California would become the second state to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
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