September 16, 2019 / 6:31 PM / a month ago

California governor expected to announce restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes

LOS ANGELES, Sept 16 (Reuters) - California Governor Gavin Newsom was expected on Monday to announce restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes in response to a recent nationwide spate of sometimes deadly lung illnesses that U.S. health officials have linked to vaping.

The expected move by the governor of the most populous U.S. state comes a day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state’s health commissioner will formally ban flavored e-cigarettes besides tobacco and menthol at an emergency meeting later this week.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also said on Monday she is leading a move to ban the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products in the third-largest U.S. city.

Public health officials have said fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes are leading a growing number of teenagers to use vaping products and become hooked on the nicotine they contain.

A press advisory issued on Monday morning said Newsom would announce an “executive action to confront the growing youth health concerns linked to vaping.”

The advisory cited data showing that vaping devices are the most commonly used tobacco product in California and that more than 80 percent of high school students who consume tobacco use a vaping device.

It also said that nearly 87 percent of California teens who consume tobacco products report using a flavored product, and that more than 15,500 e-liquid flavors are on the market.

Nearly 400 people around the country have been stricken with a lung illness that is potentially vaping-related, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Six have died.

Investigators are still trying to understand what causes the illnesses. Meanwhile, health officials have warned people against buying vaping products on the street or using marijuana-derived oil. They have said people should avoid inhaling vitamin E acetate, an ingredient found in some vaping products.

President Donald Trump’s administration last week announced plans to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from store shelves in a widening crackdown on vaping, as officials warned that sweet flavors had drawn millions of children into nicotine addiction.

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brian in Chicago; Editing by Will Dunham

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