Prop 31: 2022

Proposition 31

Yes or No to Banning Flavored Tobacco Products

smiling woman holds voter info pamphlets

The Measure

Measure Identification

Measure ID: Proposition 31
Measure Name: Referendum on 2020 Law That Would Prohibit the Retail Sale of Certain Flavored Tobacco Products.
Type of Ballot Measure: Referendum
Election: 2022 General


The Question

Should the law enacted by the California legislature to ban the sale of certain flavored tobacco products be approved?

The Situation

The California State Legislature passed SB 793 in August 2020. The law as written bans the sale of all flavored tobacco products – from bubblegum to mango to menthol. The prohibition includes pods for vape pens, tank-based systems, menthol cigarettes, and chewing tobacco. It does not include premium cigars and hookah tobacco. The ban applies to in-store purchases and vending machine purchases.

SB 793 did not go into effect because a petition to demand a referendum on the law qualified for this ballot. When a referendum on a law qualifies for the ballot, the law does not go into effect until the voters decide to approve it.

The Proposal

A YES vote on this measure: In-person stores and vending machines could not sell most flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers including menthol cigarettes and adds a $250 penalty per violation for store and vending machine owners.

A NO vote on this measure: In-person stores and vending machines could continue to sell flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers, as allowed under other federal, state, and local statutes and ordinances.

Fiscal Effect

Last year, the State’s tobacco taxes raised about $2 billion. These funds are largely used for health care programs including Medi-Cal, tobacco control efforts, and early childhood development.

Overall, the impact of SB793 would decrease state tobacco tax revenues ranging from tens of millions of dollars annually to around $100 million annually. The wide range in the estimate is because the response by tobacco consumers is uncertain. They may buy other forms of legal tobacco in which case tobacco revenue will not decrease much.

Any impact on state and local government health care programs is unknown. Reduced tobacco use may decrease the need for treatment for tobacco-related illness but it could also increase life span leading to more health care costs in the long run.

Supporters Say

  • Prop 31 will help decrease smoking rates, especially among youth.
  • Prop 31 protects our youth by ending the sale of candy-flavored tobacco products that lure them into a lifelong addiction to nicotine.
  • Prop 31 prevents big tobacco from causing more harm to black communities that buy menthol-flavored tobaccos.

Opponents Say

  • Prop 31 is simply prohibition of tobacco sales to adults. 
  • Prop 31 will drive more tobacco sales into the illegal market that already exists.
  • Prop 31 goes too far in banning some products the FDA allows which will cause people to buy other tobacco products that are more harmful.

Link to Official Opposition

No on Prop 31- Californians Against Prohibition
(this campaign has no website as of publication date)

View All Ballot Measures

Look up Your Ballot with VOTE411

Election Information You Need

Visit to look up your personalized ballot. With VOTE411, you can:

get info on candidates, measures, and who supports them
check where, when, and how to vote
keep track of your choices and use them to vote
Learn More