California bans flavored tobacco products


Sophomore Pariss Chami holds a sign against flavored tobacco use. Picture by: Kate Oller

Kate Oller, Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2022— a ban on flavored tobacco and vape products was enacted in California which led to a removal of products from stores and vending machines state-wide.

California is the second state to ban the sale of these tobacco products, after Massachusetts. Restricting access to these products helps prevent minors from developing nicotine addictions.

The controversy about flavored vapes began when people noticed that flavored nicotine products appealed to children, due to flavor options and alluring packaging. The tobacco industry targets children by marketing items such as products that may be labeled with flavors like candy, bubblegum and even cereal milk.

This marketing brings up a concern, because nearly 2,100 minors become daily smokers every day and 5.6 million minors are said to die early because of smoking. Out of all the teens who use e-cigarettes and vapes, 85% of them use the flavored version of the product.

These flavors also appeal to people over 18. 

“Flavors are the absolute key to the tobacco industry game plan,” Jim Knox, California managing director of the American Cancer Society, said. “So taking them off the table is going to have a huge impact on the industry’s attempt to lure us into a lifetime of addiction, death and misery.”

However, others feel differently on the ban of flavored tobacco products, such as Emily Green, a California citizen.

“I feel very angry about it. Vaping is so much better than smoking cigarettes,” Green said in an interview.

Flavored vapes aren’t the only items being banned. Flavored e-cigarettes and cigarettes are being removed as well, along with gummies that contain nicotine and aren’t approved by the FDA.

While the FDA is making immense progress in deflating the tobacco industry, this isn’t to say the industry is dead. 

“The tobacco industry is very creative with what they do,” Kimberlee Homer Vagadori, project director for the California Youth Advocacy Network, said. “So we’re not letting our guard down.”