American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Applauds the California State Assembly for Passing Senate Bill 793 to Halt the Sale of Flavored Tobacco

August 24, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. –  The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) issues this statement from Managing Director Jim Knox following the vote by the California State Assembly today to halt the sale of flavored tobacco products including candy, fruity and minty e-cigarettes as well as menthol cigarettes:

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) praises the State Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 793 and views the public health victory as critically important safeguards that will protect both urban and suburban youth from the ravages of tobacco. 

“Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products is an issue of both health and social justice. Menthol cigarettes are disproportionately used by Blacks, LGBTQ and low-income communities already burdened by tobacco-related disease, including lung cancer. Black men are more likely to be diagnosed and die from lung cancer than any other population.

“Menthol has been used by the Tobacco industry for decades to mask the harsh taste of tobacco, making it more appealing. Nearly 9 out of 10 African American smokers prefer menthol cigarettes. This is due to predatory marketing by Big Tobacco, which has mercilessly targeted Black communities with heavy menthol advertising since the 1960s.

“Flavors are driving the e-cigarette epidemic and its unprecedented increase in youth tobacco uptake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week released results from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey showing the rates of adolescents who use any tobacco product has increased significantly in the last two years (19.5% in 2017 – 36.5% in 2019) and half (50.1%) of all high schoolers surveyed said they have used an electronic tobacco product.

“The Senate passed SB793 in June and is expected to approve the Assembly version. SB793 will then be on its way to the governor’s desk for signature and ACS CAN urges Gov. Newsom to sign SB793 swiftly.

“ACS CAN is grateful to lawmakers who braved Big Tobacco to fight for this life-saving legislation. They include lead Senate sponsor Jerry Hill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Assembly Health Committee Chair Jim Wood.”

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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

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