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Californian officials recently put a hold on a new law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products after it qualified as a referendum for the November 2022 ballot. This move suspends the law that was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last year. Californian voters will now have a chance to vote on affirming or repealing the ban.

If e-cigarettes or vaping products have hurt you or someone you love, you may be entitled to compensation. Our qualified and experienced team of San Francisco e-cigarette/vaping injury attorneys at Allegiance Law are prepared to investigate your claim.

What is the holdup?

Governor Newsom signed the law in 2020, banning the sale of menthol and fruit flavored tobacco products for vaping and e-cigarettes. The law was to take effect January 1st, but state officials delayed enforcement, allowing the signature-certification process to be verified by the secretary of state.

The California Coalition for Fairness lobbied and collected more than one million signatures of registered voters on petitions to qualify for the referendum. Affiliated with the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, the coalition is largely funded by the tobacco companies, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and Philip Morris USA.

Taking every effort to reverse the ban, the tobacco industry raised more than $20 million for a media campaign with targeted television ads. The coalition claims the voters simply need to be educated on the issue, alleging they also want to limit the access of tobacco products to young people, but they have stated that total prohibition on these products used primarily by adults is unnecessary.

A 2018 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study found that 67% of high school students and 49% of middle school students who admitted to using tobacco products in the last 30 days reported using fruit-flavored and menthol tobacco products.

The postponed law was meant to address the increased use of vaping and electronic cigarettes by teens and preteens. Because of the delay, the tobacco industry is projected to earn more than $1.1 billion just in sales of menthol-flavored products before the 2022 election.

What is at stake?

Little is known regarding the safety of e-cigarettes and vaping, but a serious lung illness has been linked to the increased use of vaping products among teens and young adults. More than 20% of high school students reported vaping in 2018. That is three million teens, almost twice the 2017 rate, and the numbers continue to rise.

According to the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, numbers of these confirmed lung injuries associated with vaping have also been on the rise. In most cases, the reported symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

If you or a loved one has suffered from any of these symptoms after using e-cigarettes or vaping products, our product-liability lawyers have the experience to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact our skilled San Francisco e-cigarette/vaping injury attorneys at Allegiance Law for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 415-404-6395.

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