California governor Gavin Newsom announced that his state is cracking down on counterfeit vaping products, following 380 reported “confirmed and probable” cases of vaping-related lung damage and seven deaths across the U.S.
While health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), investigate the possible causes of these severe respiratory illnesses, counterfeit substances or contaminants are regarded as the likely suspects by health authorities, according to the Washington Post.
California public health officials say most patients with the vaping-related lung illnesses reported buying the products from pop-up shops or other illegal sellers, which are “a pipeline for counterfeit products,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
On Monday, Newsom signed an executive order instructing the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to develop recommendations to remove illegal or counterfeit vaping products from stores. The order also directs the Department of Public Health to launch a $20 million digital and social media vaping awareness campaign “to educate youth, young adults and parents about the health risks of vaping nicotine and cannabis products.” The department will create warning signs featuring the health risks of vaping wherever the products are sold and on product advertisements.
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