The California Coalition for Fairness have submitted over 1 million signatures to overturn a pending state ban on most tobacco flavored products, and menthol cigarettes. The group needed to submit at least 623,212 verified signatures in order to qualify a referendum on Senate Bill 793 for the 2022 ballot.
“In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, raging wildfires, heatwaves and power outages across the state, more than one million Californians signed petitions for the right to have their voice heard on an unfair law that benefits the wealthy and special interests while costing jobs and cutting funding for education and healthcare,” the group said in a statement.
Lawmakers passed SB 793 earlier this year, with African-Americans feeling they were specifically targeted when the ban didn’t cover all cigarettes, just those preferred by Black people.
SB 793 is set to go into effect in the new year, but if the referendum qualifies, the law will be paused until voters have a say.
The referendum will be presented to voters on the November 2022 ballot if the signature verification proves successful.