The state of California announced a new 12.5% excise tax on e-cigarettes to fund public health and education programs.

The aim of the legislation is to discourage vaping by minors and bring taxes on e-cigarettes more in line with levies on other tobacco products, said state Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), who authored Senate Bill 395.

“Vaping has become increasingly popular despite the risks,” Caballero said. “This is especially evident among our youth, and made worse by the availability of youth-appealing flavors such as gummy bears and cotton candy.”

The senator said making vaping devices more expensive will reduce the number of purchases by those younger than 21, which is the age at which people can legally use tobacco products.

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