By Steven Tavares

Selling so-called electronic cigarettes to adolescents is now against the law Monday night after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed state Sen. Ellen Corbett’s high-profile bill into law. E-cigarettes are often laced with fruity flavorings and marketed to teenagers in convenience stores and sales carts located in shopping malls.

The device, which looks like a cigarette, produces a smokeless form of nicotine through individually-purchased cartridges. E-cigarettes are not regulated the Food and Drug Administration, which led to Corbett’s SB 882. An initial fine of $200 may be levied for selling the device to those under 18 years of age and up to $1,000 for a third offense. A bill, written by Corbett, strengthening existing state law against producing toxic toys was also signed by the governor.

Schwarzenegger vetoed three bills authored by Corbett including one that would have set up a pilot program at three state universities allowing students to submit absentee ballots on campus instead of an election day precinct and another ensuring government procurement contracts were certified to be produced without slave labor. “I believe this bill could further compromise the business environment in California during difficult times for many businesses in this state,” the governor reasoned in the veto statement. In addition, he vetoed a bill establishing a regional council charged with establishing a recovery plan in the event of a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster

In addition, to scurrying at the capitol to resolve the longest-running budget impasse in state history, the governor was slated to sign or veto nearly 500 bills by the Thursday deadline. Monday night, Schwarzenegger signed 102 bills into law, while vetoing 37.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi also had three bills approved by the governor Monday night. One establishes state license plate adorned with a design honoring prisoners of war and another to designate excess tax liabilities toward the Police Activities League. Another Hayashi bill, AB 2104, will allow for the state board of pharmacy to appoint its own executive officer with the approval of the director of Consumer Affairs.