The proposed ban on the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after January 1, 2004, in California has sparked a heated debate between public health advocates and tobacco industry representatives. The bill, AB 935, is modeled after similar laws passed in New Zealand and the city of Brookline, Massachusetts, and aims to curb smoking rates among younger generations.
Charles Janigian, president of the California Association of Retail Tobacconists, expressed concern over the potential impact on jobs and the economy if the ban were to pass. However, proponents of the bill, like Jim Connolly of the California Cancer Research Institute, believe that it would benefit public health in the long run.
While some have raised concerns about potential legal challenges from the tobacco industry, similar laws in Brookline and California have withstood court challenges in the past. Additionally, the bill would not penalize individuals for using or possessing tobacco products, only retailers for selling to them.
How About Marijuana Sales in California?
The ban would not extend to marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in California, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that smoking marijuana can expose users to many of the same toxins and cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke.
The ban could have a significant impact on state revenue, as California collected over $1.5 billion in tobacco taxes in 2021. However, proponents argue that the potential cost savings to the public health system make the ban worth considering.
Bill AB 935
Overall, AB 935 has generated significant controversy, with both sides presenting valid arguments. Whether the bill passes or not, it is clear that smoking rates among younger generations will continue to be a critical public health issue in California and beyond.
Amsterdam Will Soon Prohibit Street Marijuana Smoking in its Popular Red-Light District
Amsterdam will prohibit cannabis smoking at its famous Red Light District in an effort to reduce tourism and increase safety in the area. The move comes after years of complaints from residents and business owners about the negative effects of tourism in the area, including noise and litter. The ban will apply to all streets, alleys, and canals in the district and violators will face a fine of up to €100 ($106.06). The ban is not a complete ban on cannabis, as it will still be legal to purchase and consume the drug in licensed cafes in other parts of the city.