Gov. Newsom seeking new restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes amid growing health concerns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom is joining the leaders of other states with a new effort to seriously curtail the use of flavored e-cigarette products among teenagers.

Newsom said there should be no place in his state for "bubble-gum" flavored tobacco.

"It's interesting in many cases that these pods hold substantially more nicotine than even traditional tobacco," Newsom said. "A governor alone is not afforded the right, legally to ban these products outright, that we would need legislative support. Again, we're pushing the envelope. We'll see how far we can go."

Newsom's executive order includes three initiatives:

1) warning labels on e-cigarette ads and at stores

2) $20 million on a vaping awareness campaign

3) removal of illegal vaping products

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he's taking action amid health concerns from vaping.


"In the next few weeks, the public should see a swell of ads that really target schools and families, parents and children directly," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's health and human services director.

Newsom also wants to explore taxing e-cigarette products based on their nicotine content.

The governor's order comes after two other states, New York and New Jersey, announced measures to restrict flavored e-cigarettes.

In California, Newsom cited at least one death and 63 cases of respiratory illness related to vaping THC or cannabis based oils.

San Francisco-based Juul Labs has 75 percent of the e-cigarette market. The company did not immediately respond to Newsom's order but has indicated support for measures designed to reduce the use of Juul products among teens.

The governor's order stopped short of banning flavored e-cigarettes, but Newsom said if such a bill lands on his desk, he would "absolutely" sign it.

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Newsom also wants to explore taxing e-cigarette products based on their nicotine content.



ABC7 News' Laura Anthony contributed to this report.
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