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California gov. takes executive action to target vaping

Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 01:44:45-04

California Governor Gavin Newsom is taking executive action against vaping and the flavored e-cigarette industry.

In a fiery press conference Monday, Governor Newsom expressed his disdain for vaping and explained how millions of dollars of tax revenue are now going to be used to advocate against people using e-cigarettes.

"We need to do more, we need to do better. There were efforts to do that this legislative session and they fell short," Newsom said.

Newsom's multi-layered executive action includes increasing enforcement against counterfeit products and the selling of e-cigarette products to children, adding warning labels, spending at least $20 million on a public awareness campaign using funds from Prop. 64 and Prop. 56, as well as reviewing tax policies to potentially increase how products like vapes and e-cigarette juices are taxed.

"To the extent that advertising can work and taxes can be a deterrent to kids that are price sensitive, I think both should be on the table," Newsom explained.

Newsom says he hopes to take steps next legislative session on banning flavored e-cigarettes, adding, "It's really unconscionable, folks that are producing those products are sleeping at night knowing what they're doing to destroy the health of a generation."

A week ago, President Donald Trump announced his plans for banning flavored e-cigarettes.

In less than six days, a petition to get the President to reverse his decision has already received more than 100,000 signatures on the White House website. Proponents of this movement say, "Bans and prohibition has never worked, whether it is with cannabis or alcohol or drugs."

Local health experts see it differently.

"We are seeing a doubling, tripling, of the rate of kids getting addicted to nicotine through vaping products than would have been through cigarettes. Many of them go on to smoke cigarettes, so anything we can do to put a halt to this rapid change in youth behavior with vaping would be good," explained Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer for the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says steps still need to be taken at a local level to curb e-cigarette use as local governments can move faster than other governmental agencies.

The governor says you can expect to see marketing from the newly-funded campaign against vaping next month.

In the press conference, Governor Newsom eluded to potentially another vaping related death or injury but said he couldn't go into more detail.

There's currently been one death and 63 vaping related respiratory injuries in the state, according to Newsom.