Governor Parson on Tuesday signed an executive order telling state agencies to start a campaign to educate, warn, and discourage vaping among Missouri’s youth kids know that vaping is dangerous.
Parson says he is also directing departments to review cases and the effects of vaping-related illnesses, and tailor the campaign to discourage youth vaping.
“I think the whole concept of vaping was to try to keep people from smoking, and I’m not sure that that’s what it’s really done,” Parson says. “I’m not sure that we haven’t created more problems, and I don’t know that there’s been enough research on that to have the answers to what all that effect is.”
Missouri health officials say youth vaping has spiked the past couple years, and most of the vaping illnesses reported so far are for people age 15-24.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services director Dr. Randall Williams says there have been 23 reported cases of vaping-related illnesses in the state and one death, as of Oct. 15. About 70% used illegal THC cartridges.
Williams says vaping is especially dangerous for middle schoolers and high schoolers.
“They do not think it’s harmful. They think that it’s a lesser of another thing, which would be smoking. For the developing teenager, we do not think that is true.”
Parson has ordered state agencies to develop the “Clear the Air” campaign within 30 days. Here’s the executive order.
(This story was last updated at 10:58 a.m. Tuesday.)