Florida Will Regulate Vaping, Lift Legal Age To 21
The new bill signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing criticism for preventing local regulations on the marketing and sale of tobacco products. Other news comes from Ohio, Texas, Maryland, California, Colorado and North Carolina.
Health News Florida:
DeSantis Signs Bill Aimed At Preventing Youth Vaping
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill that will regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes. The law will create a state regulatory framework for the sale of electronic cigarettes. Among other things, the bill (SB 1080), which will take effect Oct. 1, also will raise the state’s legal age to vape and smoke tobacco to 21, a threshold already established in federal law. (Saunders, 5/10)
Ohio Might Ax Smaller Health Departments; Officials Call It A 'gut Punch'
After battling COVID-19, a proposal from Ohio lawmakers to potentially eliminate health departments that serve smaller cities felt like a gut punch to those still on the front lines of the pandemic. At least, that's how Beth Bickford, executive director of the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, sees it. Language in Ohio's two-year budget would require cities with fewer than 50,000 residents to study whether their health department should merge with the county health department. The change could consolidate as many as 18 of the state's 113 health departments. (Balmert, 5/10)
Dallas Morning News:
Texas House Advances Bill Targeting ‘Critical Race Theory’ Over Objections From Education, Civics And Business Groups
A bill that educators say could have a chilling effect on Texas classrooms and efforts to have honest conversations about race is barreling ahead in the Legislature. The House voted 81-52 early Tuesday morning to give initial approval to a bill that supporters describe as an effort to keep “critical race theory” from being taught in schools. It’s a move that would bring Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature in line with some other conservative states, though House Democrats attempted to derail the bill with pointed questions about the legislation’s intent and potential harm. (Richman, 5/11)
The Baltimore Sun:
Govans Neighborhood Fights Crematorium From Community Fixture Vaughn Greene Funeral Services
“No Human Crematorium” reads the yellow lawn sign in front of Cindy Camp’s Northeast Baltimore home in Govans, a predominantly Black neighborhood. Camp opposes a plan by Vaughn Greene Funeral Services to establish a crematorium on York Road. She said she’s worried the crematorium will pose health risks to her family — including her grandson, who has severe asthma, her mother and her brother. (Louis, 5/10)
San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Mayor Breed Proposes New 'Wellness' Teams To Shift More Mental-Health Calls Away From Police
Expanding on what officials called a promising start to San Francisco’s new police-free mental health crisis teams, Mayor London Breed is proposing a sister division that would respond to lower-level “wellness” calls that traditionally have been handled by armed officers. The street wellness response teams would represent the latest in the city’s efforts to dial back police presence from calls for service that don’t involve criminal activity — particularly those involving mental health and homelessness. “We are continuing our work to make a significant change to improve how we effectively serve people in need on our streets,” Breed said in a statement. (Cassidy, 5/10)
Riding Herd On Mental Health In Colorado Ranching Country
The yellow-and-green facade of Patty Ann’s Cafe stands out on the main street of this ranching community just 25 miles from the Denver suburbs. Before the pandemic, the cafe was a place for ranchers to gather for meals and to swap stories. “Some people would call it almost like a conference room,” said Lance Wheeler, a local rancher and regular at the cafe. “There are some guys that, if you drive by Patty Ann’s at a certain time of day, their car or truck will always be there on certain days.” (Ramachandran and Imadali, 5/11)
North Carolina Health News:
How Will NC Spend Its Opioid Settlement Money?
A windfall of cash could be headed to North Carolina if multi-state settlement agreements are reached with opioid distributors and manufacturers for their alleged roles in fueling the opioid epidemic. The total of these settlements with drug distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, along with opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma, could be as high as $26 billion. North Carolina could receive as much as $850 million over an 18-year period. (Knopf, 5/11)