California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Sept. 16 that directs the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to launch a $20 million statewide digital and social media public awareness campaign “to educate youth, young adults and parents about the health risks of vaping nicotine and cannabis products.”
The order also directs the CDPH to develop recommendations to reduce smoking among young adults and teens by establishing warning signs with health risks where vaping products are sold and on product advertisements.
“We must take immediate action to meet the urgency behind this public health crisis and youth epidemic,” said 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.”
The executive order includes:
Increased enforcement of e-cigarettes: The Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) will develop recommendations to remove illegal or counterfeit vaping products from stores and reducing youth vaping consumption through increased enforcement and incorporating nicotine content into the calculation of the existing tax on electronic cigarettes. CDTFA shall consider revenues currently derived from taxation of electronic cigarettes and the revenues that may be collected from a nicotine-based tax, the potential for evasion and the feasibility of instituting a stamping requirement to maximize compliance. CDTFA shall submit its recommendations to the Governor’s office by Oct. 29, 2019.
Warning signs at retailers and on advertisements: The CDPH is directed to develop recommendations to reduce the availability of vaping devices to persons under 21 years of age, which includes the establishment of warning signs about the health risks of vaping at retailers where any vaping product is sold and in any vaping advertisements. This includes increased enforcement regarding sales of vaping products and specifically e-liquid flavors, to youth. In addition, the CDPH shall make recommendations regarding the establishment of standards for nicotine content and uniform packaging for purposes of including nicotine content in the calculation of the existing tax on electronic cigarettes. The Department of Public Health shall submit its recommendations to the Governor’s Office by Oct. 14, 2019.
Program Funds for Vaping Awareness Campaign: The CDPH is immediately directed to allocate a total of at least $20 million in tobacco and cannabis program funds for a vaping awareness campaign, including digital and social media messaging focused on youth, young adults and parents. This will build upon the award-wining and longest running anti-tobacco program in the nation.
Last week, the Trump administration said it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes.
In June, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to ban e-cigarettes. And on Sept. 4, Michigan became the first state to prohibit sales of most flavored e-cigarettes
Most recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to ban on flavored e-cigarettes, and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently announced a task force for addressing health concerns surrounding vaping.