Home>Articles>The Provisions of California’s Flavored Tobacco Ban

Flavored Commercial Tobacco Products. (Photo: health.state.mn.us)

The Provisions of California’s Flavored Tobacco Ban

SB 793 took effect December 21

By Chris Micheli, December 27, 2022 2:47 pm

Although the bill to ban flavored tobacco was enacted in September 2020, Senate Bill 793 by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) took effect on December 21, 2022. That is because the bill was subject to a referendum and a vote by the state’s electorate on the November 2022 general election ballot.

What exactly does SB 793 do, now that it is in effect in the State of California? Section 1 of the bill added Article 5 (commencing with Section 104559.5) to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 103 of the California Health and Safety Code. Article 5 is titled “Tobacco Sale Prohibition.”

Health & Safety Code Section 104559.5(a) provides the following definitions (the main definitions are provided below):

“Characterizing flavor” – includes tastes or aromas relating to any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, menthol, mint, wintergreen, herb, or spice. “It is the presence of a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, as described in the first sentence of this definition, that constitutes a characterizing flavor.”


“Flavored shisha tobacco product” 

“Flavored tobacco product” – any tobacco product that contains a constituent that imparts a characterizing flavor.


“Hookah tobacco retailer”


“Loose leaf tobacco”


“Premium cigar” – any cigar that is handmade, is not mass produced by use of mechanization, has a wrapper that is made entirely from whole tobacco leaf, and has a wholesale price of no less than twelve dollars ($12). A premium cigar does not have a filter, tip, or nontobacco mouthpiece and is capped by hand.

“Retail location” – a building from which tobacco products are sold at retail, or a vending machine.

“Sale” or “sold”

“Shisha tobacco product”

“Tobacco product”

“Tobacco product flavor enhancer” – a product designed, manufactured, produced, marketed, or sold to produce a characterizing flavor when added to a tobacco product.

“Tobacco retailer” – a person who engages in this state in the sale of tobacco products directly to the public from a retail location. “Tobacco retailer” includes a person who operates vending machines from which tobacco products are sold in this state.

A tobacco retailer, or any of the tobacco retailer’s agents or employees, shall not sell, offer for sale, or possess with the intent to sell or offer for sale, a flavored tobacco product or a tobacco product flavor enhancer.

This prohibition does apply to the sale of flavored shisha tobacco products by a hookah tobacco retailer if all of the specified conditions are met.

This prohibition does not apply to sales of premium cigars sold in cigar lounges where products are purchased and consumed only on the premises.

This prohibition does not apply to loose leaf tobacco or premium cigars.

A tobacco retailer, or agent or employee of a tobacco retailer, who violates this section is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished by a fine of $250 for each violation of this section.

This section does not preempt or otherwise prohibit the adoption of a local standard that imposes greater restrictions on the access to tobacco products than the restrictions imposed by this section.

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10 thoughts on “The Provisions of California’s Flavored Tobacco Ban

  1. this law is truly targeted against black people who choose the right to smoke Newport Cigarettes… They Black people choice away to choose the type of cigarettes they prefer to smoke… This is a American Democracy against Black people Right To Choose… While giving the White Liberals the freedom of Choice to Still Smoke thier Marlboro cigarettes Winston cigarettes Salem cigarettes Camel cigarettes all non menthol cigarettes… the cigarettes that 90% of black people prefer not to smoke… I’m seriously trying to find a good group of people who can help me Fight Against this Humanity against Black People Rights …

  2. This has to be one of the saddest attempts of making something about race I have ever seen. The flavor tobacco ban has nothing to do with race of they would have just banned menthol cigarettes. More people, of all colors, smoke flavored vapes that have also been banned. I’m was able to quit smoking cigarettes, which have far more dangerous chemicals in them, due to switching to vapes. I understand the ban, which began because of the rise of children abusing it, but hate that I will have to find my vapes in another state. Children will just turn to cigarettes, weed, or other drugs. However, trying to make this a race issue is simply stupid.

  3. I’m white and I smoke newports so dose that mean I’m not targeted. Wtf dude for real get over this segregation crap already . You cry babies who feel unjustified because your black your selfish. You guys have Martin Luther king day. You got black history month and now you got this Black Lives Matter bs .. check it out. Jesus is only celebrated one day a year and definitely not a topic or month of celebration in school or even talked about . What more do you guys think you deserve. Now you want to make flavor tobacco all about you too. Do you hear yourself. Smh

  4. That what I been saying if we going to ban cigarettes let just do it all kinds of cigarettes non flavor and mental why just ban flavor and menthols to me it an attack on black folks because the people that I know that are blacks smoke New Ports Menthol let’s just band them all for once pretty sure the white folks ain’t gonna like that but either way they might go and get THIER smoke next state and bring them back here to CA so really is gonna be hard to get them here in CA but is not gonna to stop people from getting them elsewhere . And at the same time you might just close all smoke shop too since you the government allow them on every block that where Hispanic and Black folks live at but go to a high class neighborhood you won’t see a smoke shop or liquor store in every block .

  5. so we ban flavored tobacco products, because irresponsible parents dont watch their children, or because these children are running rampant and defiant, but we impliment the use of safe injection sites to legally do illegal drugs that kill more per year than smoking? we hand out free smoking and injecting packages, and even get Narcan for free in the event of an overdose……but still cant have a flavored tobacco product to sit and enjoy…..ummmm maybe we should all just go out and shoot up, overdose, it’s legal the government will help you.

  6. I feel banning of menthol is hypocritical,when Marijuana is legalized and now there moving 9n shrooms, yes it’s an attack on the black race, I am Cherokee Indian and I smoke menthol, to calm my anxiety, I can’t handle regular cigarette’s, look out my anger issues are going to be a problem now.

  7. None of this is about “kid’s health”. Absolutely NONE of it. It’s about controlling others. It’s about not allowing you to do things *they* don’t like. Jacking up taxes on vape products is another control tactic having nothing to do with anyone’s “health”. Leftists are Fascist when it comes outlawing things *they* disapprove of. California is as far from “liberal” as any ideology can get.
    Imagine if Newsom grew tobacco instead of grapes…

  8. with this law and no more smoking in a park and you can’t smoke at any of our M.L.B stadiums anymore I seriously think that cigarettes will be illegal before I die . I’m 41

  9. Meanwhile, fentanyl is pouring into our country at alarming rates killing Americans and this POS Admin isn’t doing a damn thing about it.

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