SACRAMENTO – Arguing that e-cigarette use, or vaping, has become an unruly epidemic, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia presented SB 538 last week on the Assembly floor. It now awaits the Governor’s signature.
Garcia, D-Coachella, tag-teamed with Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, on the legislation that aims to help protect student health by requiring electronic cigarette manufacturers to submit physical descriptions and photographs of their products to the Department of Public Health so that the information can be easily available online for schools and parents can identify products. Under this measure, the Department of Public Health must also conduct public outreach campaigns to schools districts, charter schools, and parent organizations.
“With more than one in four high school students using electronic cigarettes, the student vaping epidemic is surging out of control,” Garcia told Uken Report. “It is no secret that deceptive packaging is making it easier to market electronic cigarettes to our youth without detection. This bill will help our schools and parents to better identify these harmful products and keep them away from our students.”
The legislation heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk as e-cigarette use and vapid grab local, state and national headlines. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week reported that more than one in four high school students in the country use electronic cigarettes.
Last week, with hundreds of people across the country, including at least five in Riverside County, suffering from a respiratory illness, Riverside County health officials urged those who use vaping products to stop until health officials can determine the cause.
In Riverside County, the pulmonary disease patients range in age from 15 to 50 and all have been hospitalized at some point. Some are now recovering at home. No clear pattern has emerged so far about what they were using to vape or the use of cannabis.
There have been five deaths associated with the ailment nationwide, including one from Los Angeles County announced last week. More than 450 cases have been reported throughout the U.S.
“SB 538 aims to curb student vaping in the face of a spike in youth usage and rising public health concerns,” Garcia said.
- Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia: Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia
- Vape: Image by Ethan Parsa from Pixabay