Sep 10, 2019

Michael Bloomberg launches $160M initiative to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's philanthropic arm announced plans on Tuesday to spend $160 million over 3 years in an attempt to ban flavored e-cigarettes in the U.S., saying tobacco companies "are preying on America's youth."

Why it matters: Though Bloomberg Philanthropies has backed efforts to curb tobacco use around the world before, this is reportedly the organization's first time financing an anti-tobacco initiative in the U.S., per the Washington Post. The pledge follows state and federal investigations into multiple deaths from an unknown lung illness linked to vaping.

The big picture: States including New York and Michigan have announced plans to ban the products.

  • Meanwhile, the Washington Post says the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Juul's marketing practices and how their messages specifically target kids and young adults. The FDA also sent the company a warning letter this week for misleading marketing on its vaping technology, especially in its youth outreach.

What's next: Bloomberg Philanthropies will work in coordination with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The funds will be used to push local, state and federal governments to implement bans on flavored e-cigarettes, impose stricter standards and encourage the FDA to strengthen its approval process for vaping products.

Go deeper: Juul's growing kids crisis

Go deeper

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Seattle police declared a riot late Monday, tweeting: " Crowd has thrown rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers and is attempting to breach barricades one block from the East Precinct."

1 hour ago - Technology

Civil rights leaders blast Facebook after meeting with Zuckerberg

Screenshot of an image some Facebook employees used as part of their virtual walkout on Monday.

A trio of civil rights leaders issued a blistering statement Monday following a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives to discuss the social network's decision to leave up comments from President Trump they say amount to calls for violence and voter suppression.

Why it matters: While Twitter has flagged two of the president's Tweets, one for being potentially misleading about mail-in ballot procedures and another for glorifying violence, Facebook has left those and other posts up, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he doesn't want to be the "arbiter of truth."

3 hours ago - Technology

Cisco, Sony postpone events amid continued protests

Screenshot: Axios (via YouTube)

Cisco said Monday night that it is postponing the online version of Cisco Live, its major customer event, amid the ongoing protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: Cisco joins Sony, Electronic Arts and Google in delaying tech events planned for this week.