California Smoking Laws: What You Need To Know As A Traveler
California smoking laws are changing. Whether you’re a smoker or not, here are things you should know if you’re planning a trip to California.
The U.S. has seen major changes in its population’s smoking habits throughout history. In 2022, the percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes went down to 11%. Falling young adult smoking rates mainly contributed to this decline.
Despite overall lower smoking rates, authorities are still concerned about its health impacts for both smokers and non-smokers who may suffer from smoke exposure. States like California have doubled down on their smoking prevention methods, with stricter laws on smoking and tobacco and bans on certain products.
If you’re a non-smoker, we’re sure you appreciate and welcome these new California smoking laws. If you’re a smoker, you should know about these new regulations before your trip. This will ensure that you don’t run into any trouble while you’re there.
Whether you’re a smoker or not, below are some things you should know if you’re planning on visiting California…
California Smoking Laws
California’s smoking guidelines are more rigid than other states. This comes out of concern about the effects of secondhand smoke and to prevent younger people from accessing smoking products. Smoking is not banned outright but can only be done in a handful of locations.
Workplaces, schools, retail stores, restaurants, bars, and recreational facilities are smoke-free establishments. When in doubt, any enclosed place or area that the public frequents is a no-smoke zone. Some cities like San Francisco permit smoking on curbs outside of residential spaces. However, you must not be near any entrances to buildings.
In December 2022, the Supreme Court also approved California’s ban on flavored tobacco products being sold in physical stores. This came despite some players from the tobacco industry’s bid to stop or delay the measure. The ban, or Proposition 3, now prohibits using menthol cigarettes and cotton-candy-flavored vaping products.
If you’re looking for a quick answer as to whether people can still smoke in California, the answer is yes. However, smokers need to be careful about the products they’re using and where they use them.
If you’re a smoker but still want to travel to California, you still have options. If you’re worried about possibly feeling some withdrawal symptoms during your visit due to the reduced access to tobacco or nicotine, there are still some ways you can get your fix without breaking any rules or racking up fines.
Rather than feeling irritable throughout the day, a convenient option that you can use instead are nicotine pouches. Nicotine pouches are legal in California as these tobacco-free products don’t produce any smoke. This allows you to use these pouches almost anywhere. Though Proposition 31 no longer allows these pouches to be sold in physical stores, you can still purchase them legally online. ZYN nicotine pouches can be purchased online across the US.
Other products like the nicotine gum from Nicorette or the Nicoderm nicotine patch are also good alternatives to cigarettes. Because they’re smoke-free like the pouches, they’re safe to bring during your trip to California. They’re helpful to instantly satisfy cravings. That way you’re not tempted to reach for a cigarette when you know you aren’t supposed to.
Nicotine patches can be stuck onto your skin and worn for as long as 24 hours, giving you a consistent stream of nicotine throughout the day. They’re discreet and comfortable to wear, and they work well if you aren’t a big fan of flavored products like pouches or gum.
Another benefit is that if you’re looking to wean yourself off cigarettes, all of these products can help you kick the habit by letting you control the nicotine you intake. You’ll get a more pleasant experience without being bothered by the smoke and smell of cigarettes while decreasing your dependency on tobacco nicotine.
California won’t be the last state to enact strict smoking laws. It might be time to seriously consider quitting. Nowadays there are many resources to help those that want to quit smoking. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Studies show that quitting smoking improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. Which means you’ll be able to travel more.
Two great online resources that are free are CDC.gov/quit and Smokefree.gov. They offer texting programs, apps, and tips from former smokers to make quitting easier.
Final Thoughts On California Smoking Laws
The new California smoking laws are pretty strict. Travelers wanting to avoid second-hand smoke will be happy with the new regulations. Travelers who smoke, however, might find it difficult to navigate their way around the new rules.
To play it safe, it would be best for smokers to use smoke-free nicotine products that won’t bother anyone around them. It’s also recommended to buy those products ahead of time. Of course, quitting smoking is always an option as well.
Different cities in California can have varying rules on smoking limitations. Therefore, it’s good to know what is and isn’t allowed in the places you’ll be visiting. Our post “10 Tips to Help a First Time Traveler” emphasizes the importance of research before you get to any destination. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned jet setter, reading up on the area is a must.
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