tobacco

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.

In 1998, major tobacco companies reached a historic legal settlement with states that had sued them over the health care costs of smoking-related illnesses. But individual smokers have continued to sue, and to this day the tobacco industry remains tied up in hundreds of court fights with sickened smokers, or with family members who lost a loved one to cancer, heart disease, or other smoking-related illness.

Uganda explicitly bars government officials from accepting gifts of any kind from cigarette-makers. French and British officials must publicly announce any encounters with representatives of the industry. Thailand and the Philippines won't even let officials take a meeting except under the narrowest of circumstances.

These are some of the measures deployed by countries around the world to limit influence over their anti-smoking policies, according to the first-ever Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index.

Editor’s Note: Sarah Milov, assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia and author of the forthcoming book, “The Cigarette: A Political History,” provided extensive research material for historians Ed Ayers and Nathan Connolly. We did not attribute the research to Sarah in the original broadcast that aired. We apologize for the error.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says one of his "highest priorities" is to take on the leading cause of preventable death in the United States: smoking.

McConnell has sponsored a bill, along with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, that would increase the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21.

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.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it will seek a ban on the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes.

The announcement came as the agency officially released a detailed plan to also restrict the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes. It also wants to ban flavored cigars.

Taxing soda is an increasingly popular approach to raising revenue while combating obesity, which affects 40 percent of American adults. But the sweetened-beverage industry is not about to go away quietly.

Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, the soda industry poured millions of dollars into fighting taxes on sugary drinks. In recent years, it has been largely successful in shutting down new taxes, except in a handful of major cities.

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