Senate Bill 538 would have required all manufacturers selling vaping products in the state of California, to send a written description together with a picture of each product that they sell, to the State Department of Public Health (DPH) by April 1st, 2020. Three months later, on 1st of July, the DPH would have posted every picture and description on its website in coordination with the Department of Education in order to have the information available to school administrators.

”An increasing number of electronic cigarettes are developed to resemble otherwise innocuous items, such as USB flash drives or pens. This makes it difficult for parents and educators to identify these electronic cigarettes when they are used by pupils,” said the bill.

DPH: Having more info about the available products could serve as marketing

“DPH further states that this bill does not include an incentive, such as penalties or license suspension or revocation, for manufacturers to comply with the provisions in this bill.”

The bill stated that the DPH would have imposed a fee on the manufacturers in order to cover the cost of this measure. However, the Department itself was against the proposal, pointing out that it “may serve more as marketing for e-cigarettes.”

“DPH opposes this bill because of concerns that posting descriptions and photographs of e-cigarettes on its Web site and notifying school entities does not directly address the state’s youth use of e-cigarettes epidemic. DPH states that posting the information may serve more as marketing for e-cigarettes and provide public health legitimacy to e-cigarettes. DPH also states that it would not be able to maintain updated information of anever-changing e-cigarette market. DPH further states that this bill does not include an incentive, such as penalties or license suspension or revocation, for manufacturers to comply with the provisions in this bill.”

SB 538 does not set in place an enforcement system

And now, Governor Gavin Newsom has stated that he is in agreement with the DPH, pointing out that the bill would not set in place an enforcement system. “I am returning Senate Bill 538 without my signature. This bill would require electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) manufacturers to submit a written physical description and photograph of each type of e-cigarette sold in California to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for positing on its website. SB 538’s goal of reducing e-cigarette use by California’s youth is an important one.”

“My administration is confronting the public health crisis from the increasing use and dangers associated with e-cigarettes, including how best to increase enforcement of e-cigarette requirements, and launching a digital and social media campaign aimed at educating youth, young adults, and parents about the health risks of vaping nicotine and cannabis products. I have also called on the Legislature to pass legislation banning flavored vaping products in the upcoming year. SB 538 does not provide an enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance from manufacturers, many of which are located out-of-state or overseas. While the bill authorizes CDPH to collect a fee from manufacturers of e-cigarettes sold in the state to pay for the costs of implementing this legislation, the fees collected may not be sufficient to fund the program, creating General Fund cost pressures.”

Read Further: CBS Sacramento

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