California to crack down on vaping, Governor signs executive order

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- E-Cigarettes have once again come under fire.

Governor Gavin Newsom is addressing the rising health concerns associated with vaping and the industry's targeting of youth.

"Let's just dispense with any niceties, you don't have bubblegum flavor, mango flavored tobacco products unless you're trying to target an audience that you're losing and that's young people," Newsom said in a press conference on Monday.

The governor does not have the authority to ban vaping products outright but he is directing the state to spend $20 million on a public awareness campaign about the dangers of vaping nicotine and cannabis.

Newsom would also like to see new warning labels at retailers and in advertisements while pushing for higher taxes on e-cigarettes, which typically have lower taxes than traditional cigarettes.

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"It's interesting in many cases these pods hold substantially higher concentrations of nicotine than even traditional tobacco products," Newsom said.

Experts say flavored e-cigarettes are contributing to a spike in youth smoking.

"I think the fruity flavors or candy flavors is attracting the kids because kids love the fruity or candy flavors and whatever they can get their hands on because it's sweet," said James Blake.

James Blake, 18, said he only started vaping because he thought it would help him quit smoking cigarettes, but admits he's now dealing with health issues he believes are due to vaping.

"My lungs feel weaker here and there. Plus the flavors are not what they're cracked up to be. It's nasty after all," Blake said.

Governor Newsom is hopeful state lawmakers will send him legislation that would allow him to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette in 2020.

A similar effort failed earlier this year.
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