Today, Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-18 regarding the use of vaping devices among youth in Missouri. Governor Parson’s Executive Order directs the Departments of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and Public Safety (DPS) to use existing resources to develop a statewide campaign to educate, warn, and deter the use of vaping devices among Missouri’s youth. The Executive Order further directs DHSS, DESE, and DPS to review evidence regarding the cases and effects of vaping-related injuries, specifically among youth, and tailor their prevention and educational messaging to counter vaping industry marketing practices that target youth. Flavored nicotine products and targeted marketing have contributed to a significant rise in youth vaping. Recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show a rapid increase in the use of vaping products among youth, labeling such use as an epidemic. As of October 1, 2019, the CDC has reported 1,080 lung injury cases and 18 deaths across the country this year associated with vaping products. In Missouri, 22 cases of vaping-related illnesses, including one death, have been reported as of October 4, 2019, with the majority of these reports involving individuals age 15 – 24. Despite laws prohibiting the use of vaping devices among individuals under the age of 18, the Missouri Student Survey has reported increased use of such devices by middle school and high school students every year since 2014. The percentage of those reporting the use of a vaping device at some point in their lives increased from 19.1 percent in 2014 to 26.9 percent in 2018. Nationally, the use of vaping devices among high school students increased by 78 percent from 2017 to 2018 according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Governor Parson’s Executive Order directs DHSS, DESE, and DPS to develop and launch a campaign within 30 days of today. To view Executive Order 19-18, click here.In addition to the Executive Order, Governor Parson also signed letters to the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services supporting their efforts to address the vaping epidemic. To view the letters, please see attached.