SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGET) — California lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban single-use tobacco products in an effort to curb some environmental issues.
“I want to be clear. This bill is not banning the sale of tobacco or marijuana in California. That’s not the goal of this bill,” explained Assembly Member Luz Rivas, D-San Fernando Valley.
Rivas is the author of Assembly Bill 1690, which, if signed into law, would ban the sale of single-use vapes and tobacco filters, which are found in most cigarettes and cigars.
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcement and violators could face civil penalties of $500.
Lawmakers said single-use products pose environmental issues, noting that throughout the state cigarette litter forces public agencies to spend $41 million a year on clean up.
“The smokers: They smoke and they toss. They risk a $1,000 fine by flicking a cigarette out of a vehicle, or throwing it on the beach, or out into the environment anywhere and that’s not a deterrent at all,” explained Assembly Member Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay.
The bill mirrors a similar effort underway in New York, which California lawmakers hope helps their case.
“We will be working in tandem to make sure we keep our states healthy and clean and send a message to the country that this is the year to get the single-use ban in place,” said Rivas.
Officials said, if passed, the bill does not yet have a date for when it would go into effect, and the legislation is something they want to work out with stakeholders as the bill evolves.
Representatives with Altria Group, one of the world’s largest makers and marketers of tobacco in the world, said they’re in the process of reviewing the legislation.