CA SB1230

Find the most up-to-date revision of this bill here.

 

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2023–2024 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1230


Introduced by Senator Rubio
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Wood)

February 15, 2024


An act to amend Section 22958 of, and to add Section 22974.1 to, the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Section 30449 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to tobacco sales.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1230, as introduced, Rubio. Strengthen Tobacco Oversight Programs (STOP) and Seize Illegal Tobacco Products Act.
Existing law, except as specified, prohibits a tobacco retailer, or any of the tobacco retailer’s agents or employees, from selling, offering for sale, or possessing with the intent to sell or offer for sale a flavored tobacco product or a tobacco product flavor enhancer, as defined.
Under the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration administers the statewide program to license manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of cigarettes and tobacco products.
This bill, the Strengthen Tobacco Oversight Programs (STOP) and Seize Illegal Tobacco Products Act, would amend the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003 to authorize the department, if it discovers that a retailer, or any of the tobacco retailer’s agents or employees, sell, offer for sale, or possess with the intent to sell or offer for sale a flavored tobacco product or tobacco product flavor enhancer, in violation of existing law, to seize those products at the retail location or any other person’s location. The bill would deem any seized products to be forfeited and would require the department to comply with specified procedures relating to the seizure and forfeiture of cigarette and tobacco products.
Existing law requires certain items forfeited to the state, including any cigarettes or tobacco products forfeited to the state pursuant to the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003, to be destroyed.
This bill would additionally require flavored tobacco products and tobacco product flavor enhancers forfeited to the state pursuant to the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003 to be destroyed.
The Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act regulates the use of tobacco and tobacco products by, among other things, prohibiting a person from selling or otherwise furnishing tobacco, cigarettes, or any other paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco, tobacco products, or any controlled substance to a person under 21 years of age. Existing law authorizes civil penalties for a first and subsequent violations of the act.
This bill would increase the penalties for providing a person who is under 21 years of age any of those substances or paraphernalia.
This bill would also make findings and declarations related to the STOP and Seize Illegal Tobacco Products Act.

Digest Key

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

Bill Text

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Strengthen Tobacco Oversight Programs (STOP) and Seize Illegal Tobacco Products Act.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nicotine is highly addictive and can harm brain development, which continues until about 25 years of age. The use of any tobacco product, including flavored tobacco products, is unsafe for young people.
(b) According to the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Food and Drug Administration, approximately 2,800,000 high school students and middle school students reported using a tobacco product in the past year, and nearly 90 percent of youth electronic cigarette users used flavored products.
(c) The Legislature passed Senate Bill 793 of the 2019–20 Regular Session to protect the health and safety of all Californians, including California children, by prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products in California.
(d) Despite the overwhelming passage of Senate Bill 793, tobacco manufacturers delayed implementation of the law by taking the issue to the ballot for a referendum vote as Proposition 31 at the November 8, 2022, statewide general election, and voters overwhelmingly supported the policy of a flavored tobacco ban.
(e) Despite the overwhelming support of both the Legislature and the public, tobacco manufacturers sought to delay implementation of the law by challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 793. The tobacco manufacturers’ legal challenge was ultimately unsuccessful when the United States Supreme Court declined to hear their challenge in January 2024.
(f) Even after California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products took effect, researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that online shopping for flavored tobacco products increased significantly in the weeks after the implementation of Senate Bill 793.
(g) Additionally, sales data has shown a surge in illegal, unregulated flavored tobacco products, such as flavored disposable electronic cigarettes, being imported into the United States from foreign countries in recent years. In December 2023, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Customs and Border Protection announced the seizure of approximately 1,400,000 units of unauthorized electronic cigarette products worth over $18,000,000 at Los Angeles International Airport.
(h) Strengthening tobacco oversight programs and expanding the seizure of illegal tobacco products is essential to achieving the state’s public health goal of lowering youth tobacco use.

SEC. 3.

 Section 22958 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

 

22958.
 (a) (1) An enforcing agency may assess civil penalties against any person, firm, or corporation that sells, gives, or in any way furnishes to another person who is under 21 years of age, age any tobacco, cigarette, cigarette papers, any other instrument or paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco, tobacco products, or any controlled substance, according to the following schedule: (1) a civil penalty of four hundred dollars ($400) to six hundred dollars ($600) for the first violation, (2) a civil penalty of nine hundred dollars ($900) to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the second violation within a five-year period, (3) a civil penalty of one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200) to one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) for a third violation within a five-year period, (4) a civil penalty of three thousand dollars ($3,000) to four thousand dollars ($4,000) for a fourth violation within a five-year period, or (5) a civil penalty of five thousand dollars ($5,000) to six thousand dollars ($6,000) for a fifth violation within a five-year period.
(A) A civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for the first violation.
(B) A civil penalty of two thousand dollars ($2,000) to three thousand dollars ($3,000) for the second violation at the same location within a five-year period.
(C) A civil penalty of five thousand dollars ($5,000) to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the third violation at the same location within a five-year period.
(D) A civil penalty of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for a fourth violation within a five-year period.
(E) A civil penalty of at least twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for five or more violations within a five-year period.
(2) This subdivision does not apply to the sale, giving, or furnishing of any of the products specified in paragraph (1) to active duty military personnel who are 18 years of age or older. An identification card issued by the United States Armed Forces shall be used as proof of age for this purpose.
(b) (1) In addition to the civil penalties described in subdivision (a), upon the assessment of a civil penalty for the third, fourth, or fifth violation, the department, within 60 days of the date of service of the final administrative adjudication on the parties or payment of the civil penalty for an uncontested violation, shall notify the State Board of Equalization of the violation. The State Board of Equalization shall then assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and suspend or revoke a license issued pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 22972) 22971.7) of Division 8.6 in accordance with the following schedule:
(A) A 45-day suspension of the license for a third violation at the same location within a five-year period.
(B) A 90-day suspension of the license for a fourth violation at the same location within a five-year period.
(C) Revocation of the license for a fifth violation at the same location within a five-year period.
(2) The provisions of Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 55121) of Part 30 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code apply with respect to the collection of the penalty imposed by the State Board of Equalization pursuant to paragraph (1).
(c) (1) For each suspension or revocation pursuant to subdivision (b), the civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) assessed pursuant to that subdivision, notwithstanding Section 22953, shall be deposited into the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Compliance Fund established pursuant to Section 22990. Moneys from that civil penalty deposited into this fund shall be made available to the State Board of Equalization, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purposes of meeting its duties under subdivision (b).
(2) The department shall, upon request, provide to the State Board of Equalization information concerning any person, firm, or corporation that has been assessed a civil penalty for violation of the STAKE Act pursuant to this section when the department has notified the State Board of Equalization of the violation.
(d) The enforcing agency shall assess penalties pursuant to the schedule set forth in subdivision (a) against a person, firm, or corporation that sells, offers for sale, or distributes tobacco products from a cigarette or tobacco products vending machine, or a person, firm, or corporation that leases, furnishes, or services these machines in violation of Section 22960.
(e) An enforcing agency may assess civil penalties against a person, firm, or corporation that sells or deals in tobacco or any preparation thereof, and fails to post conspicuously and keep posted in the place of business at each point of purchase the notice required pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 22952. The civil penalty shall be in the amount of two hundred dollars ($200) for the first offense and five hundred dollars ($500) for each additional violation.
(f) An enforcing agency shall assess penalties in accordance with the schedule set forth in subdivision (a) against a person, firm, or corporation that advertises or causes to be advertised a tobacco product on an outdoor billboard in violation of Section 22961.
(g) If a civil penalty has been assessed pursuant to this section against a person, firm, or corporation for a single, specific violation of this division, the person, firm, or corporation shall not be prosecuted under Section 308 of the Penal Code for a violation based on the same facts or specific incident for which the civil penalty was assessed. If a person, firm, or corporation has been prosecuted for a single, specific violation of Section 308 of the Penal Code, the person, firm, or corporation shall not be assessed a civil penalty under this section based on the same facts or specific incident upon which the prosecution under Section 308 of the Penal Code was based.
(h) (1) In the case of a corporation or business with more than one retail location, to determine the number of accumulated violations for purposes of the penalty schedule set forth in subdivision (a), violations of this division by one retail location shall not be accumulated against other retail locations of that same corporation or business.
(2) In the case of a retail location that operates pursuant to a franchise as defined in Section 20001, violations of this division accumulated and assessed against a prior owner of a single franchise location shall not be accumulated against a new owner of the same single franchise location for purposes of the penalty schedule set forth in subdivision (a).
(i) Proceedings under this section shall be conducted pursuant to Section 131071 of the Health and Safety Code, except in cases where a civil penalty is assessed by an enforcing agency other than the department, in which case proceedings shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures of that agency that are consistent with Section 131071 of the Health and Safety Code.

 

SEC. 4.

 Section 22974.1 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

 

22974.1.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, if the department discovers that a retailer, or any of the tobacco retailer’s agents or employees, sell, offer for sale or possess with the intent to sell or offer for sale, a flavored tobacco product or tobacco product flavor enhancer, in violation of Section 104559.5 of the Health and Safety Code, the department may seize those flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancers at the retail location or any other person’s location. Any flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancers seized by the department shall be deemed forfeited and the department shall comply with the procedures set forth in Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 30435) of Part 13 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(b) For purposes of this section, “flavored tobacco product” and “tobacco product flavor enhancer” shall have the same meaning as the terms are defined in Section 104559.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

 

SEC. 5.

 Section 30449 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

 

30449.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), or (d), any property, except money, forfeited to the state under this chapter shall be sold by the board at public auction. Notice of the sale shall be given by posting a written notice of the time and place of sale in three public places in the county where the property is to be sold for not less than five 5 days nor more than 10 days before the sale. If the board is unable to sell any property forfeited to the state under this part or, if the board determines that the property is unsalable, it may destroy that property.
(b) Any property forfeited to the state pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 30436 shall be destroyed.
(c) Any cigarettes forfeited to the state pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 30436 shall be destroyed.
(d) Any cigarettes or cigarettes, tobacco products products, flavored tobacco products, or tobacco product flavor enhancers forfeited to the state pursuant to Division 8.6 (commencing with Section 22970) of the Business and Professions Code shall be destroyed.
(e) A record shall be kept of all property destroyed pursuant to this section showing the nature of the property, the quantity, the reason for, and the manner of destruction. The proceeds of the sale and any money forfeited to the state shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund.
(f) For purposes of this section, “flavored tobacco product” and “tobacco product flavor enhancer” shall have the same meaning as those terms are defined in Section 104559.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

 

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