California governor to crack down on counterfeit e-cigarettes, launch anti-vaping campaign

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he can't take executive action to ban flavored e-cigarettes, despite his desire to do so, and that it requires legislative support.
Image: A customer vapes at a vaping store in Sacramento, Calif., on June 28, 2018.
A customer vapes at a vaping store in Sacramento, Calif., on June 28, 2018.David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

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By Janelle Griffith

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a crackdown on counterfeit electronic cigarettes amid growing health concerns connected to vaping, particularly among young people.

“We are here to lend our voice to a chorus of voices across the country,” Newsom said at a press conference Monday.

Newsom said he plans to launch a $20 million state-sponsored public awareness campaign next month that will focus on the dangers of vaping devices.

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The Democratic governor, who has four children, said the issue has been brought to the forefront of his consciousness by family members and others who have expressed concern over how pervasive vaping has become among youth.

Neswom said he cannot take executive action to ban flavored e-cigarettes, despite his desire to do so, and that it will require legislative support.

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.

At least six deaths linked to the vaping-related respiratory illness have been reported.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday he would seek a statewide ban on flavored e-cigarettes, pending approval by the state's health council. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced he had created a task force to come up with recommendations for addressing health issues from vaping.

Last week, the Trump administration said it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes.

Michigan became the first state to prohibit sales of most flavored e-cigarettes earlier this month to curb the underage vaping epidemic.

San Francisco was the first major U.S. city to ban e-cigarettes, in a measure city supervisors passed unanimously in June.