A coalition representing the tobacco industry submitted more than one million signatures that would overturn California’s ban on flavored tobacco, according to The Los Angeles Times.
If the Secretary of State’s office thinks there are enough signatures, the new law that bans flavored tobacco products, scheduled to take place January 1, would be suspended, according to The Los Angeles Times. The signatures would qualify a referendum in California’s November 2022 ballot, reported the Los Angeles Times. (RELATED: The Road To Criminalizing Tobacco Product Users)
“In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, raging wildfires, heatwaves and power outages across the state, more than one million Californians signed petitions for the right to have their voice heard on an unfair law that benefits the wealthy and special interests while costing jobs and cutting funding for education and healthcare,” a statement by the California Coalition for Fairness said, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Lindsey Freitas, advocacy director for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, criticized the referendum backed by companies including Philip Morris USA, reported The Los Angeles Times.
“We know Big Tobacco has hidden behind smoke and lies for years to hook generations of young people on deadly tobacco products, and this referendum is just one more tactic to continue the status quo,” Freitas said, reported The Los Angeles Times. “If this referendum qualifies for the ballot, we’re confident that California voters will reject Big Tobacco’s desperate attempt to keep hooking our kids for a profit. But the delay will be costly and deadly.”