Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order To Address Youth Vaping

California Governor Gavin Newsom has taken action to address the issue of youth vaping and possible related health risks.

On Monday, Governor Newsom signed executive order N-18-19 directing the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to launch a $20 million digital and social media public awareness campaign across the state to educate youth, young adults, and parents about potential risks of vaping nicotine and cannabis products.

Newsom also signed Senator Jerry Hill’s bill, SB39, which implements stricter age verification for tobacco products sold online and through the mail.

“We must take immediate action to meet the urgency behind this public health crisis and youth epidemic,” said Governor Newsom. “As a parent, I understand the anxiety caused by the deceptive marketing tactics and flavored options designed to target our kids. With mysterious lung illnesses and deaths on the rise, we have to educate our kids and do everything we can to tackle this crisis. There is a broad and bipartisan coalition of legislators seeking to protect our youth, and we are committed to working with the Legislature and stakeholders to build on these executive actions and put forward a strong tobacco reform package in 2020.”

According to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, vaping devices are used by more than 80 percent of high-school-aged tobacco consumers in the state and vaping among high school students rose 27 percent between 2016 and 2018.

As part of the new executive order, the Department of Tax and Fee Administration will draft recommendations to remove illegal and counterfeit vaping products from retail outlets and reduce youth consumption through increased enforcement and regulation.

The executive order also directs CDPH to establish warning signs in advertisements and places where vaping products are sold to help reduce their availability to underage persons.

CDPH will be making recommendations for the establishment of standards for nicotine content in vaping products and uniform packaging to indicate nicotine content and electronic cigarette tax calculation.

Recommendations are to be submitted to the Governor’s Office by October 14, 2019.