Pending the approval of new legislation, California residents may soon be required to visit tobacco shops in order to purchase tobacco products.
A new bill that will remove tobacco products from grocery and convenience stores is now one step closer to approval, as it has officially received Senate approval.
According to a report from Central Valley Business Times, after gaining approval from the Senate, Senate Bill 1400 is now headed to the Assembly for consideration. This new legislation would effectively ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in by convenience and grocery stores, by limiting the sale of such products to tobacco shops.
This legislation, which was authored by Senator Bob Wieckowski, is intended to remove tobacco products from stores that are frequented by minors. According to the report from Central Valley Business Times, Wieckowski hopes that this new legislation will help protect California’s youth from forming harmful habits, as 90% of smokers report starting before age 18. Children under 18 are not allowed in tobacco shops, unless accompanied by a parent; therefore, if this bill were to be approved, it would be more difficult for minors to acquire tobacco products.
Currently, retailers must obtain a license from the state Board of Equalization in order to sell tobacco products. The new bill will change the definition of tobacco retail locations to mean a store that generates more than 60% of its gross annual revenues from the sale of tobacco products and paraphernalia. If approved, the bill would take effect in 2019.