Governor of California vows to crack down on vaping industry

The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced on Monday (September 16) directives to halt the spread of the "epidemic" of vaping in the state at a news conference in Sacramento.

The announcement follows the outbreak of vaping-related illness that has killed six and affected hundreds of others more.

Newsom told journalists “Number one we’re going to considerably increase our enforcement against conterfeit products and against those that are currently abusing the law and are allowing access to these products to our children. Number two, we’re going to significantly review and consider increasing the warning signage not only in retail establishment but to broadly consider warning as it relates to potential packaging, which I know is a gray earlier, but substatively on advertisement more broadly on these products.”

He also said he was exploring ways to tax e-cigarettes and other tobacco products in the same way that cigarettes are.

On top of that, he unveiled a $20 million minimum spend on advertising to prevent people from using vapes and e-cigarettes.

Newsom stated that California had had one death and “at least 63 instances of respiratory illnesses or ailments related to vaping products in this state.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it has activated its emergency operations center to coordinate the investigation into hundreds of cases of severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarette use.

The CDC’s Emergency Operations Center offers a central command post where teams of trained disease experts track public health emergencies, share information and coordinate the responses.

While the cases have not yet been linked to a specific product or ingredient, health officials have urged consumers to quit vaping altogether.

For those who continue, the CDC urges consumers to avoid buying vaping products on the street, using marijuana-derived oil with the products or modifying a store-bought vape product.

Anyone who has breathing problems after vaping, such as a dry, or unproductive, cough, shortness of breath and chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, should report them to their doctor.

(Production: Rollo Ross)

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