TOBACCO: Senate Passes Bill Banning Self-Service Displays
In a 22-12 vote, the Senate yesterday passed a bill that would prohibit self-service displays of cigarettes in retail stores, the Los Angeles Times reports. Introduced by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier), the measure would subject violators to fines ranging from $200 for a first violation to $6,000 for multiple offenses. The legislation also would prohibit the distribution of free tobacco products on private property open to the public. While a Senate analysis of the bill found that 73 counties and cities, including Los Angeles, already have outlawed self-service displays, Escutia maintained that a statewide ban on such displays would reduce young people's temptation to smoke. However, Sen. Ray Haynes (R-Riverside), who was joined by cigarette distributors in opposing the bill, argued that the measure exemplifies "a compulsion for government to regulate for the sake of regulation, 'no matter how nonsensical it is.'" Escutia countered, "Even if you save one life, it's well worth it." The bill now moves to the Assembly (7/7).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.