[Attorney General] – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced her support Thursday for SBX2 5, legislation authored by state Sen. Mark Leno to protect children and youth from the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes. The bill ensures that e-cigarettes are included in existing laws that prevent underage smoking and mandate smoke-free spaces by explicitly defining them as “tobacco products,” in addition to requiring child-resistant packaging.
“Protecting children from a life of nicotine addiction is essential to good public health and smart fiscal policy,” said Attorney General Harris. “I thank Senator Leno for his leadership on this issue and urge the Legislature to approve this important legislation.”
SBX2 5 will include e-cigarettes in California’s Smoke-Free Act, which prohibits smoking at workplaces, schools, daycares, restaurants, bars, hospitals and on public transportation. The legislation will also make sure e-cigarettes are covered under the 1994 Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act, which has successfully reduced illegal sales of cigarettes to children. Tobacco use in California is responsible for $13.29 billion in health costs each year.
Attorney General Harris earlier this year launched a first-of-its-kind Bureau of Children’s Justice, with the aim of bringing together the California Department of Justice’s criminal and civil law enforcement tools to hold those who prey on children accountable, help shape and implement policies that help children, and work with a range of stakeholders to better support kids.