Nicotine and Commercial Tobacco Policy Milestones

The “Deeming Rule”, Proposition 56, & Age Increase

In May 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended its tobacco regulatory authorities to other products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah. The Deeming Tobacco Products to be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “Deeming Rule”) is meant to be foundational in that it brings these newly deemed tobacco products under the provisions of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

FDA Deems Certain Tobacco Products Subject to FDA Authority, Sales and Distribution Restrictions, and Health Warning Requirements for Packages and Advertisements | FDA

California’s law raising the age to buy nicotine and commercial tobacco products from 18 to 21 (except for active duty military 18 or older) went into effect on June 9, 2016, becoming just the second state after Hawaii.

In November 2016, Proposition 56, a voter initiative to increase state tobacco taxes, was approved with a remarkable 64.43% state-wide yes vote, establishing “The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016.” In addition to increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $2, the first state tax increase on tobacco products in 28 years, the law levied a new tax on electronic cigarettes. A broad coalition of citizen and health organizations put forward the initiative to save lives and reduce the disease and fiscal burdens of smoking and tobacco-use among all affected Californians.

California Proposition 56, Tobacco Tax Increase (2016) – Ballotpedia