FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2021
CONTACT: Mike Roth, 916.813.1554

Sacramento, CA – A group of California public health organizations are joining forces as the Committee to Protect California Kids. The coalition will lead the fight to stop Big Tobacco’s latest attempt to target kids, and end the sale of candy-flavored tobacco and minty menthol cigarettes in California. 

The Committee to Protect California Kids includes the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes, and the Campaign for Tobacco–Free Kids.

“In this battle between California and Big Tobacco over the lives and health of our kids, nothing is more important than the truth: tobacco companies use candy flavors to hook kids on nicotine,” said Malia Cohen, Committee Co-Chair. “In the coming months, our coalition is going to make sure Californians know that their YES vote will protect kids from getting lured into nicotine addiction by the tobacco industry’s sweet, sugar-flavored lies.”

The tobacco industry sees every generation of young people as the next generation of tobacco users. That’s why they’ve designed their products, like e-cigarettes, to deliver a massive dose of sweet-tasting nicotine. Big Tobacco is marketing a highly addictive drug wrapped in candy flavors to our kids, which puts them at great risk for addiction; and minty-sweet menthol cigarettes are even worse. Study after study shows that when tobacco comes in candy flavors like bubble gum, minty menthol, strawberry, chocolate, or cotton candy – kids are more likely to get hooked for life. Protecting California’s SB 793, the bipartisan law ending the sale of these products, will protect kids from a potentially deadly addiction to nicotine.

The creation of the Committee to Protect California Kids demonstrates that the tobacco industry seriously miscalculated if it thought it would be able to roll over the citizens of California. The Committee anticipates that it will receive support from a broad range of organizations and individuals in California. Michael Bloomberg, a longtime champion for kids against the tobacco industry, is helping to support the effort to defend SB 793.  

Big Tobacco knows they’ll have to lie to get their way, and they’ve already resorted to deceitful campaign tactics. Multiple signature gatherers were caught on tape lying to voters about Big Tobacco’s measure. Some time later, Big Tobacco’s cloud of deception thickened when Inyo County election officials launched an investigation into potentially fraudulent signatures submitted by the industry.