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Major California Tobacco Bills Go Before Assembly Committee

Terry Ozon / Flickr
 

Terry Ozon / Flickr

(AP) - Two California bills aimed at curbing youth smoking are getting a crucial legislative hearing.

A bill to regulate e-cigarettes and another to boost the legal smoking age to 21 will be heard Wednesday by the Assembly's Committee on Governmental Organization.

It's unclear whether they have the votes to advance. Both bills are strongly opposed by tobacco companies that have made large contributions to lawmakers.

Over half of the 21-member committee has accepted money from tobacco companies.

SB140 by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco would regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, banning their use in restaurants, hospitals and public transportation.

SB151 by Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez of La Puente would raise the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.