On Monday, September 16th, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to take critical steps towards addressing youth tobacco use, specifically in regard to electronic smoking devices. The executive order will launch a $20 million statewide awareness campaign to educate youth, young adults and parents about the risks of electronic smoking devices commonly known as e-cigs. We are also pleased to share that Governor Newsom also signed Senate Bill 39 into law which will impose stricter age verification requirements for tobacco products sold online.
A statement from our Executive Vice President Kathy Rogers:
“We agree with Governor Newsom that it’s time to put a stop to the tobacco industry’s strategy to target young people and his actions today were a good first step. Too many Californians have fallen ill due to the use of electronic cigarettes and moving forward any action that hopes to limit tobacco use by our youth needs to include restrictions on the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes. Flavored e-cigarette products are the latest shameful chapter in Big Tobacco’s long history of luring kids to their products. It is time for California to halt the sale of all flavored tobacco and protect future generations from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.”
The Executive Order is significant because it shows the need for strong legislation to protect Californian youth from a starting a lifetime of nicotine addiction and the lack of leadership at the state level so far. The AHA has been trying to pass strong legislation to protect youth from electronic smoking devices for years, but that legislation stalled. For more information visit here. From 2016 to 2018, e-cig use among California high school students rose 27%. In 2018, 10.9% of California high school students reported using e-cigarettes. Currently, more than 80% of high school students who consume tobacco use electronic devices and 86.4% of California teenagers who consume tobacco products report using flavored tobacco products.
Governor Newsom’s Executive Order is a good step towards creating the urgency needed to passing strong legislation like a restriction on the sale of all flavored tobacco products at the state level. For more information on the Executive Order please visit here.