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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California convenience stores would have one less sales category under a measure moving through the legislature.
On June 2, the state Senate passed a bill that would restrict tobacco sales to cigar shops. This piece of legislation, known as SB 1400, was introduced by state Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont).
The bill now moves to the state Assembly.
Under current California law, retailers selling tobacco products must obtain a license from the state Board of Equalization. Retail locations currently include convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, airports, hookah lounges and tobacco shops.
Children under 18 are not allowed in tobacco shops unless accompanied by a parent and are therefore not exposed to tobacco advertising. SB 1400 changes the definition for tobacco retail locations to mean a store that generates more than 60 percent of its gross revenues annually from the sale of tobacco products and paraphernalia. If approved, the bill would take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
"This is a huge step forward in protecting California's children because 90 percent of smokers start before they are age 18," said Wieckowski, chairman of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. "By prohibiting the industry from targeting our state's children with its pervasive marketing in stores frequented by our youth, we will make it harder for Big Tobacco to get another generation hooked on its addictive and deadly products."