Davis Signs Bills to Curb Youth Smoking
Gov. Gray Davis (D) signed two bills yesterday designed to reduce youth smoking, the Sacramento Bee reports. SB 322 prohibits businesses that allow minors on their premises to sell cigarettes known as "bidis" or "beedies." These unfiltered and hand-rolled cigarettes "produce much higher concentration of carbon dioxide, nicotine and tar than regular filtered cigarettes." In addition, bidis are "often flavored and appeal to children" (Sacramento Bee, 10/2). According to Davis, about 5% of California high school students smoke bidis (Office of the Governor release, 10/1). The second measure, SB 757, permits the state Department of Health Services to conduct "sting" inspections at businesses suspected of selling tobacco products to minors. In addition, the measure allows the department to "investigate illegal tobacco sales to minors" made through the Internet, telephone calls or regular mail. State Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), the author of both bills, said, "This restriction is long overdue" (Sacramento Bee, 10/2).
Davis also signed two bills yesterday intended to increase awareness of meningitis, which "made headlines" earlier this year after a Walnut Creek pharmacy "inadvertently contaminated injections of steroids" with the bacterial disease. Three people died and 13 others required hospitalization, the Contra Costa Times reports (Contra Costa Times, 10/2). SB 212, sponsored by state Sen. Thomas Oller (R-Roseville), allocates $100,000 to the Department of Health Services to "develop and complete a Meningococcal Disease Strategic Prevention Plan" by June 30, 2002. It also encourages providers to provide meningitis vaccines to "children whose families want them immunized." AB 1452, sponsored by Assembly member Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks), requires the department to develop "specified" meningitis vaccine and disease information. The bill also creates several requirements for colleges and universities, including providing freshmen with information about meningitis (Office of the Governor release, 10/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.