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California targets vaping as health fears rise

Gavin Newsom.
Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) announced Monday that California will spend $20 million on an awareness campaign warning the public about vaping's dangers, AP reports.

The big picture: Vaping technologies for nicotine and cannabis have seen a sharp increase in popularity, but officials are concerned about the products' adverse effects. A recent surge in vaping-related illnesses caused the Center for Disease Control to release a statement last month broadly warning against the practice, specifically when using knockoff products.

  • California has seen approximately 63 cases of vaping-related illness and 1 death. There have been 6 deaths nationwide.
  • Newsom has asked California lawmakers to send him legislation banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, and asked officials to consider taxing e-cigarettes the same as traditional ones.
  • The campaign will also seek to address sales of counterfeit vapes.

What they're saying: A Juul Labs spokesperson said the company is in favor of efforts to target black market products.

  • “On reported illnesses, we have been monitoring the situation closely,” the spokesman added.

Go deeper: Nicotine addictions increasingly driving vape users back to cigarettes