Governor Signs Vaping Epidemic Executive Order

“With mysterious lung illnesses and deaths on the rise, we have to educate our kids and do everything we can to tackle this crisis.”

— Governor Newsom

A recent sudden lung illness outbreak
from vaping has affected more than a
thousand people; the youngest is 13.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Teens are nearly 7x more likely
to vape nicotine than adults.

American College of Physicians

Marijuana vaping among youth has

increased by 58% in a single year

Institute for Social Research

4 out of 5 kids who vape nicotine use flavors

National Institutes of Health

Kids 15-17 years old are
16x more likely to use
Juul than older groups

Truth Initiative

Kids report vaping

as early as 12 years old


In The News



Flavors mask the harsh taste of tobacco which makes it easier for kids to smoke — and most kids don’t know that flavored e-cigarettes are high in nicotine.


The tobacco industry is hooking the next generation of addicts, and flavors are a big way in. Four out of five kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

Those numbers suggest that most underaged users might never have tried vaping if tobacco tasted like tobacco. From Juul’s popular mango to thousands of options available for Suorin and other open systems, flavors hook kids on a drug known to be as addictive as heroin.


The rise in teen vaping is finally news. But we need to know more about kids’ consumption of nicotine, such as how high the doses, and how great the risks.

Modern devices can have up to 6x the nicotine concentration of first generation e-cigs, putting kids at risk of not only a nicotine addiction, but substance addiction of all kinds.


Nicotine is one of the most toxic of all poisons. It can rewire the brain, particularly vulnerable in the developing years, from adolescence to mid-twenties. In what ways?

Nicotine changes the teen brain and affects attention, learning, and memory. It can worsen stressors already challenging in adolescence:


  • Impulsivity
  • Learning difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings


But unlike other adolescent phases, changes to the brain from nicotine can be permanent.


Know what to look for. Vaping products have become almost unrecognizable. Familiarize yourself with the drug’s new delivery systems. You can’t stop it if you can’t spot it.

Know The Signs

Know The Signs

People with lung damage from vaping typically have symptoms that start a few days to a few weeks before they go see a doctor. All people hospitalized developed some type of breathing problems, but many people also have other symptoms. The symptoms reported by those who have gotten sick are:


  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss


For more information on the risks of vaping, read “Vaping Related Lung Illness: A Summary of the Public Health Risks and Recommendations for the Public

  • Are there sweet or fruity smells coming from behind closed doors? That might actually be nicotine hiding in vape flavors.
  • Are there school supplies or tech products you don’t recognize in kids’ backpacks or rooms? How about small vials or eye dropper bottles?
  • Have you come across unfamiliar chargers, coils, or batteries?
  • Have there been changes in your kids’ behavior such as increased mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or impulsivity?
  • Are your kids suffering from more frequent headaches or nausea?

While California State Law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21, kids still manage to get it.

Here are six common ways:

  • Vape products are all over social media, and many promote the sale of their products right from their accounts.
  • Website age gates are easily bypassed, and kids use a parent’s name for shipping. In fact, kids successfully buy e-cigs online 94% of the time.*
  • Clerks at tobacco shops, vape stores, gas stations and convenience stores might not enforce the California Tobacco 21 law, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 years of age.  
  • Many vape companies have names that wouldn’t raise a red flag on parents’ credit card statements.
  • Online orders can be delivered to Amazon lockers in supermarkets or convenience stores.
  • Orders can also be shipped to the homes where parent(s) are at work when the mail comes.
  • Kids are buying and selling pods, and even single hits, in schools.


Here's what Californians are saying about the vaping epidemic.


Steps to end the youth epidemic

  • How to talk to kids

  • What to do if your teen is addicted

  • How to get schools on board

  • Ten quick facts about nicotine and adolescence

  • Activities to do with teens

View the Guide

Share your story

Comfortable sharing? Jot down your experience with a teen who vapes to help other parents navigate this new territory

Voice Your Concern

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Reaching out to your mayor can create change. Enter your name, choose your city, and we’ll connect you to the right email to make sure your letter makes the most impact.

I'm Living in

Dear Mayor

I’m concerned about the recent public health outbreak involving vaping. The number of hospitalizations seems to be multiplying. Many patients require respirators to keep them alive. Sadly, some don’t make it. It’s time we do something in our community to protect our kids.

As you may already know, tobacco companies use flavors and tech-inspired devices to lure kids into vaping. This, coupled with unchecked online purchasing, gets toxic tobacco products past parents and teachers, straight into the hands of kids.

The youth in our area face enough challenges in this time of their development. We should be setting them up for success, not saddling them with addiction, neurotoxins, serious lung damage, and long-term health threats that are still unknown.

They deserve better.

I ask for your leadership in addressing how we can keep our kids safe from an industry determined to do them harm.

Thank you for your leadership in the fight to keep our kids safe from tobacco industry targeting. I’m so grateful that our city has banned flavored tobacco products, and is helping to keep kids safe from the neurological risks of nicotine.

But underage vaping continues to grow and marketing of these products to youth remains unregulated. I hope more people will work toward reversing the rise in teen vaping, and give California kids the chance to live out their childhoods nicotine-free.


Learn More

Watch our complete video playlist on YouTube or click the articles below for more info. 

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