Gov. Gavin Newsom wants $20 million campaign about vaping dangers

California voters have narrowly supported the death penalty, most recently in 2016 when they voted to speed up the process.
By  | 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom is directing the state to spend $20 million on a public awareness campaign about the dangers of vaping nicotine and cannabis.

The Democratic governor's Monday executive order aims to address rising health concerns from vaping. Hundreds of people nationwide have come down with serious lung illnesses related to vaping cannabis-based oils, and flavored e-cigarettes are contributing to a rise in youth smoking.

Newsom says he doesn't have the executive authority to ban flavored e-cigarettes. But he wants state lawmakers to send him a bill to do so next year. An effort to ban flavored e-cigarettes failed earlier this year.

His order also directs the state's public health agency to explore if the state can step up warning signs at retailers that sell vaping products. He wants the state tax agency to see if it can increase the taxes on e-cigarettes, which typically have lower taxes than traditional cigarettes.

Hundreds of people nationwide have come down with serious lung illness related to vaping cannabis-based oils. California has seen 63 such cases.

Flavored e-cigarettes are also contributing to a rise in youth smoking.

The Democratic governor's action comes after President Donald Trump announced plans for the federal government to ban many e-cigarette flavors.

In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced efforts to outlaw the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. In neighboring New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has created a task force to come up with recommendations for addressing health issues from vaping.

Authorities say a central California resident has died from complications related to the use of e-cigarettes.

The announcement Monday by the Tulare County Public Health Office comes hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to spend $20 million on raising awareness about the dangers of vaping nicotine and cannabis.

The Fresno Bee reports the Tulare County resident died of severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping. Officials didn't release the person's name and age.

Hundreds of people nationwide have come down with lung illness related to vaping.

Juul Labs says it agrees that there is a need to crack down on counterfeit and knockoff vaping products.

The comments from one of the most prominent e-cigarette companies come in response to executive actions announced by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. He wants the state to spend $20 million on a public awareness campaign about the dangers of vaping and has asked lawmakers to send him legislation banning flavored e-cigarettes.

Juul spokesman Ted Kwong says the company has taken aggressive actions to combat youth vaping. But just last week an Illinois teenager sued the company arguing it deliberately markets to young people.

Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association says the regulated cannabis industry wants to see the nicotine industry follow the same rigorous standards that it does.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)