Voters in California have approved Proposition 31. This proposition provided voters an opportunity to uphold or veto a flavored tobacco ban that was passed back in 2020 under Senate Bill 793. While the ban was upheld, there is language in the legislation that provided exemptions for premium cigars and loose-leaf tobacco.

Under the proposition:

  • A “yes” vote was to uphold the contested legislation, Senate Bill 793 (SB 793), which would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
  • A “no” vote was to repeal the contested legislation, Senate Bill 793 (SB 793), thus keeping the sale of flavored tobacco legal in the state.

With 96.58% of the votes counted, the Yes votes had 62.26% while the No votes had 37.74%.

The ballot measure had been required by California law following the passing of Senate Bill 793. The legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

In terms of the premium cigar exemption, the following definition was used. It is worth noting that a price point of $12.00 was put in place with this particular definition:

“Premium cigar” means 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.

The ban had been opposed by the Premium Cigar Association, National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Cigar Association of America, and the California Association of Retail Tobacconists.