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News Summary

New bills renew California's anti-smoking effort

Publication Date: 4/15/2015
  • Author:Patrick McGreevy
  • Publication: Los Angeles Times

California has become a battleground between the tobacco industry and health groups as lawmakers push proposals that include increasing cigarette taxes by $2 a pack and raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

The state once led the nation in snuffing out smoking, but health activists say a strong tobacco lobby and a lack of political will have blocked new efforts in recent years.

"We used to be leaders, and we are not anymore," said Stanton A. Glantz, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco.

California lawmakers have responded to such criticism with a flood of legislation on the issue.

In addition to making California the first state to raise the smoking age, the measures would bar electronic cigarettes from public places where smoking is prohibited, ban single-use filters on cigarettes and prohibit the use of chewing tobacco in pro baseball stadiums and recreational league games...