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CALIFORNIA LAWS & TAXES
- California includes vapor products containing nicotine in its definition of “tobacco product.”1
- Electronic cigarette cartridges and solutions for filling electronic cigarettes must be sold in child-resistant packaging.1
- It is against the law to sell or give tobacco and vapor products to anyone under the age of 21. Active military personnel must be over 18.1
- There is an annual licensing fee on e-cigarette retailers of $265 per location, in addition to a one-time fee of $10,000.2
- It is no longer a punishable crime for a minor (under the age of 21) to possess or use tobacco products or paraphernalia designed for the smoking of tobacco and tobacco products under the Tobacco 21 Law of 2016.3
- The use of vapor products is prohibited statewide in workplaces and many public spaces, including restaurants and bars.4 Clayton, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Pinole, Richmond and Walnut Creek also ban vaping in multi-unit, private residences.
Tobacco/Vapor Sales Bans: Cerritos, Contra Costa County, Livermore, Menlo Park, Morro Bay, Palo Alto, Richmond, Santa Clara County (unincorporated areas), San Francisco, San Mateo County (unincorporated areas).
Tobacco/Vapor 21 Law: Federal law passed December 20, 2019 prohibits sales of all tobacco and vapor products to anyone under the age of 21 years old. FDA stated law became effective on that date. States may choose to continue with current age law at the risk of losing federal funding. Current California law bans the sale of tobacco and vapor products to adults under the age of 21 years old.
Flavor Bans5,6,7: Federal law prohibits the sale of closed system devices (pods, cartridges) containing e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco or menthol.
The following municipalities have banned the sale of flavored tobacco/vapor products: Adelanto, Alameda, Alameda County, Albany, Alturas, Anderson, Arroyo Grande, Auburn, Benicia, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Burlingame, Calabasas, Carpinteria, Capitola, Carson, Cerritos, Cloverdale, Compton, Contra Costa County, Corte Madera, Cudahy, Culver City, Cupertino, Danville, Davis, Delano, Dublin, East Palo Alto, El Cerrito, El Monte, Encinitas, Fairfax, Fremont, Glendale, Guadalupe, Half Moon Bay, Hayward, Hermosa Beach, Imperial Beach, Lafayette, Laguna Niguel, Larkspur, Livermore, Long Beach, Loomis, Los Altos, Los Angeles County, Los Gatos, Mammoth Lakes, Manhattan Beach, Marin County, Maywood, Mendocino County, Menlo Park, Mill Valley, Morgan Hill, Mono County, Morgan Hill, Moro Bay, Napa, Novato, Oakland, Oroville, Oxnard, Pacific Grove, Palmdale, Palo Alto, Paradise, Pinole, Pleasanton, Portola Valley, Redondo Beach, Richmond, Ross, Sacramento, San Anselmo, San Carlos, San Diego County, San Francisco, San Leandro, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County, San Mateo, San Mateo County, San Pablo, San Rafael, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, Santa Maria, Saratoga, Sausalito, Sebastopol, Solona Beach, Sonoma, South San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Tiburon, Ventura, Ventura County, Watsonville, West Hollywood, West Sacramento, Windsor, Woodland, Yolo County.
The governor of California signed SB 793, a bill that banned the sale of tobacco and vapor products in flavors other than “tobacco” on August 28, 2020. In January 2021, a referendum suspended the ban until voters decide to repeal or affirm it in November 2022.9
Flavored premium cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah are exempt from the law. The ban took effect on January 1, 2020.8
California taxes smoke-free tobacco products, including vapor products sold with nicotine, at a rate of 59.27% of wholesale cost.2
Updated August 2021