smoking

When U-Haul recently announced it will no longer hire people who use nicotine in any form in the 21 states where such hiring policies are legal, the Phoenix-based moving company joined a cadre of companies with nicotine-free hiring policies.

For decades, major tobacco companies have fought against raising the age limit to buy their products from 18 to 21. But recently, some cigarette and e-cigarette giants have started lobbying for the minimum age to rise.

"Raising the purchase age to 21 reduces underage access," a radio ad from e-cigarette giant Juul declared. "That's why Juul Labs supports making 21+ the law nationwide."

Congress is set to pass a $1.4 trillion spending package this week, which President Trump has said he'll sign. The legislation includes policy changes and funding increases that public health advocates are celebrating, as well as the permanent repeal of three key taxes that were designed to pay for Obamacare — a win for industry groups.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Some 10.8 million Americans had started vaping as of last year, according to a government study. The surge has been driven to a great degree by the immense success of Juul, by far the most popular vaping product.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and sitting in for Neva Hill is Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Director of External Relations Dave Bond about renewal of calls to provide a Cost of Living Adjustment for state retirees, Governor Stitt goes before the U.S. Senate to support a federal proposal to stop states from using the Clean Water Act to block energy projects and time is running out in the stalemate between the governor and tribal leaders over gaming compacts.

Smokers who switched to e-cigarettes were much more likely to quit than people who used nicotine patches, gum or similar products, according to a large study.

The bad news: People who successfully quit tobacco were often hooked on e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are considered far less hazardous than the ones you light up. Still, American health officials worry about their addictive nature and lure for young people. But British health officials tend to look more favorably upon them.

Vaping by U.S. teenagers has reached epidemic levels, threatening to hook a new generation of young people on nicotine.

That's according to an unusual advisory issued Tuesday by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams about the the dangers of electronic cigarette use among U.S. teenagers.

Lindsay Fox / EcigaretteReviewed.com

One Oklahoma Senator wants to ban vaping in schools.

Senator J.J. Dossett has filed a bill to ban vaping products in schools, including non-combustible devices and cartridges, regardless of if they contain nicotine.

The bill would extend the ban under the state’s Tobacco-Free Schools Act, which also bans tobacco products for public and private school buildings and vehicles.

Whitney Dinger, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, says the state has been on trend with the increasing national vaping rates.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Babies who begin life with a long hospital stay are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke. That’s galvanized health officials at one children’s hospital to focus on laying aside stigma when they ask parents a simple question: ‘Do you smoke?’

One of those parents is Tabitha Majors, who has had a tough three weeks. She’s sitting in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where her newborn son Brayden is recovering from surgery.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET.

San Francisco could become the first city in the nation to ban flavored tobacco products from all store shelves. The ban includes everything from candy-flavored e-cigarettes to conventional menthol smokes.

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