Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a pack of bills that will raise the smoking age in California from 18 to 21, and restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public places.
However, Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed counties to seek voter approval of local tobacco taxes to pay for healthcare expenses for those with tobacco-related illnesses.
“Although California has one of the lowest cigarette tax rates in the nation, I am reluctant to approve this measure in view of all the taxes being proposed for the 2016 ballot,” Brown wrote in his veto message for a bill by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica).
The bills were touted as the “most expansive” effort to control tobacco use in the state in more than a decade and were backed by a coalition of medical groups including the American Heart Assn, American Lung Assn., American Cancer Society and the California Medical Assn.
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