California Senate Advances Vaping, Smoking Regulation Bills

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers are advancing a package of tobacco regulation bills, reviving proposals that earlier stalled in the Legislature amid opposition from tobacco companies.

They include measures to raise the age for buying tobacco products to 21 and to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

Local governments could impose their own tobacco taxes on top of the state’s tax. And the state would increase fees on tobacco vendors to cover its regulatory costs.

The six bills also expand on tobacco bans in schools and the workplace.

The measures approved by the Senate on Thursday do not include a pending proposal to raise California’scigarette tax by $2 per pack from the current 87 cents.

The bills face an uncertain future in the Assembly, where a committee shelved previous Senate legislation.