California tobacco bills reignite in special session

Jul 16, 2015 7:49 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Democratic lawmakers are bringing back a package of tobacco regulation bills after those proposals stalled earlier this month.

Lawmakers on Thursday announced six tobacco-related bills to be considered as part of the Legislature's special session on health care financing.

The major proposals seek to treat electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and to raise the legal smoking age to 21. Earlier versions had failed to advance out an Assembly committee after facing strong opposition from big tobacco companies.

Supporters say stricter tobacco laws will save health care costs, while opponents say greater restrictions would represent a government overreach.

A $2-per-pack cigarette tax is not included in the package, though proponents are cleared to begin gathering signatures for it to go before voters as a 2016 ballot measure.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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