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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will devote $20 million on a public awareness campaign about the dangers of vaping nicotine and cannabis goods and step up efforts to halt the sale of illicit goods amid a rise in vaping-associated illnesses.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the actions Monday as portion of an executive order.

Several of the hundreds of nationwide vaping illnesses appear linked to use of cannabis-primarily based oils, even though some persons reported vaping nicotine goods, according to the Centers for Illness Manage and Prevention. California has observed at least 63 situations and one particular of the six deaths reported about the nation.

At the identical time, flavored e-cigarettes produced by businesses such as Juul Labs are contributing to a rise in youth smoking. The public awareness campaign Newsom announced aims to tackle all types of vaping, he stated.

“As a father of 4, this has been an problem that has been brought to the forefront of my consciousness,” he stated.

Whilst President Donald Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have announced plans to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, Newsom stated he does not have comparable executive authority. But he stated he desires lawmakers to send him legislation to do so subsequent year.

A comparable work failed this year, but the lawmakers behind it stated they’ll attempt once more.

“We completely assistance the Governor’s belief that these goods need to be banned, and we appear forward to operating with him to pass legislation that will bring an finish to this public overall health crisis and safeguard the youth in our state,” Sen. Jerry Hill and Assemblymen Jim Wood and Kevin McCarty, all Democrats, stated in a statement.

Hours just after the governor’s announcement, overall health officials in central California stated a resident of Tulare County died of “severe pulmonary injury” connected to the use of e-cigarettes. The person’s name and age weren’t released.

Most of Newsom’s actions center on the use of e-cigarettes, even though he stated the state is stepping up its enforcement of illicit cannabis goods as nicely.

A spokesman for Juul Labs, one particular of the most prominent e-cigarette businesses, stated the enterprise is reviewing Newsom’s announcement and applauds action to crack down on counterfeit and knockoff vaping goods.

“On reported illnesses, we have been monitoring the scenario closely,” spokesman Ted Kwong stated in an emailed statement. Juul goods do not include THC or any compound derived from cannabis, he stated.

Beyond the public awareness campaign, Newsom has directed the state departments of public overall health and tax and charge administration to discover methods to warn persons about the possible dangers of vaping and tackle the sale of illicit goods.

He’s asked the public overall health division to discover new warning indicators at retailers and in ads.

On the tax side, he’s asking officials to look at altering how e-cigarettes are taxed, since they ordinarily face reduced taxes than standard cigarettes. Creating the goods extra high priced to get could make them tougher for teenagers to acquire, he argued. Juul did not particularly comment on that aspect of Newsom’s proposal or his get in touch with for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

The California Division of Tax and Charge Administration may possibly also attempt to implement a tracking technique on the distribution of nicotine-primarily based vaping goods, comparable to the “track and trace” system it currently utilizes for legal cannabis.

Such a system would enable it to track the quantity of vaping solution distributors are providing retailers. The division would then track that against the tax it is collecting from retailers. That would assist the state see if retailers are creating cash from illicit or untaxed goods, stated Nick Maduros, the department’s director.

Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Market Association says the legal marijuana business currently follows rigorous requirements and it supports efforts to spot these identical requirements on nicotine-primarily based goods.



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