California Tightens Smoking Regs

California has taken a series of moves to make smoking both more difficult and more restrictive in the state.

First, like Hawaii, it is upping the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 from 18. It has also extended the state ban on smoking in workplaces to “owner-operated” businesses that have no employees or volunteers or contractors. At the same time, it has mandated that no smoking signs “be posted at each entrance” to each place of business.

The state has also taken a strong stand against electronic cigarettes, lumping them together with traditional tobacco products and banning their use in public structures. The e-cigarette bill, however, does allow for their use in designated smokers’ areas of “clinics,” but these clinics must clearly designate smoking and non-smoking areas with signs so stating.

The measures that passed modify the existing Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act and become effective on Jan. 1, 2017.

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