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Missouri governor launches anti-vaping campaign with executive order

In a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Mike Parson announced a new executive order that will launch an anti-vaping campaign.

The “Clear the Air: The Risks of Youth Vaping” campaign will be coordinated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The governor appeared with officials from the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Public Safety in the governor’s office at the Missouri Capitol.

Playback of a live stream of the event is available in the player below.

Executive Order 19-18 directs the three departments to “use existing resources and appropriations to collaborate in developing a statewide campaign designed to educate, warn, and deter the use of vaping devices among the youth of the state of Missouri.”

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, criticized the governor’s timing in a statement released Tuesday.

“A good place to begin in addressing this crisis would be for the governor to support repealing the shortsighted, pro-industry legal protections that have helped addict another generation of young Missourians to nicotine and in some cases cost them their lives,” said the statement released by Quade’s office.

The Springfield Democrat also called out Parson’s Senate voting record, pointing to a 2014 bill that would exempt “alternative nicotine products or vapor products” from being regulated and taxed as tobacco products.

The bill was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, but the video was overridden by the legislature. Parson and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, who were senators at the time, voted in support of the override.

“This bill, which is supported by sellers of such products and at least one major tobacco manufacturer but is opposed by leading health organizations, creates a facade of regulation and is actually harmful to Missourians because of the special exemptions it provides for these dangerous products,” Nixon said in his 2014 veto. “As a result, it does not meet with my approval.”

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