Californians Against Prohibition

Prohibition Never Works

Prohibition Never Works

It is already illegal to sell any tobacco product to anyone under the age of 21 in California.¹ That restriction and the California Department of Public Health’s education efforts are working. Youth vaping is down 59% over the last three years and youth smoking is at an all-time low of just 1.9%.² 

But Prop 31 is unnecessary prohibition for anyone age 21 or older. It enacts a sweeping ban on menthol cigarettes, flavored smokeless tobacco, and other flavored non-tobacco nicotine products for adults over the age of 21. Prop 31 will reduce state tax revenue by $1 billion over the next four years.³ That means less money for healthcare, education, seniors, and law enforcement. Prohibition has never worked, and it won’t work now.

Get the facts on Prop 31

Public Education Is Better Than Prohibition

California led the nation in raising the age to 21 for purchasing tobacco—among the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the country. The Golden State already spends over $140 million a year to help people quit tobacco and stop kids from starting.⁴ 

Prop 31 Has Unintended Consequences

According to a Yale study, a similar measure passed in San Francisco actually increased smoking among high school students.⁵ At a time when youth vaping is down 59% in the last three years and youth smoking is at an all-time low of just 1.9%, Prop 31 will have unintended consequences in California.

Prop 31 Will Increase Crime

Almost half of cigarettes are illegally sold in California, smuggled in from other states or countries like China and Mexico.⁷ Prop 31 will drive even more sales underground, moving from licensed neighborhood retailers to gangs and organized crime. What’s worse: Prop 31 does not add a single penny to law enforcement to fight the violent crime that will follow.

Prop 31 Will Reduce Revenue

According to a legislative analysis, Prop 31 will lead to over $1 billion in lost revenue over the next four years.⁸ That means less money for critical services like healthcare, education, programs for seniors, and law enforcement.

Prop 31 bans FDA-authorized products and could increase cigarette use among young people:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority over tobacco and vapor products, and has already banned many flavored products. But Prop 31 goes too far–banning the sale of flavored, reduced-risk, smoke-free products that are currently authorized by the FDA and classified as “appropriate for the protection of public health” for adults 21 and over.

What People Are Saying About Prop 31

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