The tobacco industry attempted to have a California prohibition on flavored tobacco products blocked by the Supreme Court on Monday, but they were unsuccessful.
The majority of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, will no longer be sold thanks to the ban, or Proposition 31, which was resoundingly approved by voters in November.
R.J. Reynolds, a division of British American Tobacco, and other significant tobacco corporations filed the emergency petition in an effort to suspend or delay the bill, which is scheduled to go into force the following week.
The law was initially enacted two years ago, but tobacco firms were able to bankroll a successful campaign to prevent its implementation and place the matter on this year’s statewide election.
However, the ban was upheld by the justices without justification or any visible opposition.
JUST IN – U.S. Supreme Court rejects bid by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co to halt California's ban on retail sales of all flavored tobacco products pic.twitter.com/43qVzDQ8gH
— Andrew Chung (@andrew_chung_) December 12, 2022
The Tobacco Control Act of 2009, a federal statute that forbids states from restricting the sale of tobacco products, was cited as a defense by R.J. Reynolds, the company that manufactures and distributes Newport menthol cigarettes.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys stated in their request for an injunction that “they can increase the minimum buying age, restrict sales to specific times and places, and enforce licensing regimes.” They are unable to entirely ban the sale of those goods because they do not adhere to the state’s or locality’s preferred tobacco product requirements, nevertheless.
Additionally, the plaintiffs claimed that the bill would result in “significant financial losses” for the tobacco industry. In California, a third of the market is made up of menthol cigarettes, they testified in court.
An inquiry for comment made on Monday did not receive a prompt response from R.J. Reynolds.
Such restrictions on flavored tobacco products and menthol cigarettes have already been implemented in some Californian towns, such as Los Angeles and San Diego.
California will pass a statewide ban after Massachusetts, making it the second state in the US to do so once it goes into effect.