Proposition 31 would uphold a state law banning the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products.
Candy-flavored tobacco products are especially appealing to children and young adults. A 2021 CDC survey found that over 70% of middle- and high-school students were exposed to tobacco ads, and 80% who use tobacco use flavored tobacco. According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, youth who use flavorings such as fruit or candy flavoring vape more compared to those who use “traditional” flavors of tobacco.
In 2020, California’s state legislators passed the bipartisan bill SB 793 to end the sale and marketing of candy-flavored tobacco products in the state. SB 793 is intended to help curb youth tobacco use. Opponents of Prop. 31 argue that by placing Prop. 31 on the ballot, the tobacco industry has effectively been able to use its wealth to engage in a policy runaround and keep SB 793 from taking effect for two years.
Prop. 31 would uphold the 2020 law ending the sale and marketing of candy-flavored tobacco products, ensure that it goes into effect, and penalize candy-flavored tobacco product sales in California with a $250 fine against stores per violation.
A YES vote on Proposition 31 means: SB 793 would be upheld, and sales of candy-flavored tobacco products would be banned in the state of California.
A NO vote on Proposition 31 means: SB 793 would not go into effect, and sales of candy-flavored tobacco products would continue to be allowed in the state of California.
Top funders of Proposition 31:
- The top funders of the ballot measure committee supporting Proposition 31 are Michael Bloomberg, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and the Hospitals, and the California Teachers Association Issues PAC. As of August 1, the Yes on 31 committee has raised $3 million and spent $2 million since Jan. 1, 2022. Other supporters include the American Lung Association and Governor Gavin Newsom.
- The top funders of the ballot measure committee opposition Proposition 31 are tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA, and ITG Brands. As of August 1, the No on 31 committee has raised $15 million and spent $743,566 since Jan. 1, 2022. The California Republican Party is also opposed to Prop. 31.
Misinformation about Proposition 31 includes:
- Tobacco companies claim that Prop. 31 is discriminatory because it criminalizes the sale of menthol cigarettes “preferred” by people of color. However, tobacco companies have been systematically targeting Black youth for decades with candy-flavored tobacco products. The share of Black Americans who smoke using minty menthols has dramatically increased since the 1950s because of tobacco corporations’ predatory marketing in Black communities.