Big Tobacco goes big in effort to quash law banning sales of flavored tobacco products

A coalition of big tobacco companies and small retailers is paying professional signature gatherers upward of $10 a name in an attempt put the brakes on the statewide law barring brick-and-mortar stores from selling menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.



Suresh Raina standing in front of a store: Employee Majid Abbas (left) helps a customer buy flavored tobacco at City Smoke and Vape Shop in San Francisco in 2017.


© Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle 2017

Employee Majid Abbas (left) helps a customer buy flavored tobacco at City Smoke and Vape Shop in San Francisco in 2017.


With the Nov. 30 deadline approaching for submitting signatures to qualify the measure for the 2022 ballot, the high-dollar effort has become an interesting blend of California politics and potentially huge business profits, with a dash of coronavirus shutdown tossed in for good measure.

At issue: SB793, authored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in August. Stores that break the ban on selling flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes would face a

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Government Will Quash Oracle’s TikTok Deal If Security Requirements Not Met

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that the government will shut down the TikTok app if its presumptive lead strategic investor, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), does not enact stricter standards for the video-sharing app’s security.

One of the key demands from the government is that the code for the app is held within our borders. “All of the code will have to be in the United States. Oracle will be responsible for rebuilding the code, sanitizing the code, making sure it’s safe in their cloud, and … it’ll satisfy all of our requirements,” said Mnuchin in remarks made during a CNBC investor conference.

Under pressure from U.S. authorities to divest TikTok, the app’s owner — China-based ByteDance — reached a deal earlier this month for Oracle to buy a 12.5% stake in the business. Walmart (NYSE:WMT) will subsequently purchase a 7.5% TikTok stake.

Those holdings, combined with the 40% of ByteDance owned

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