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New York Set To Join Michigan In Banning Some E-Cigarettes

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he will push for a ban on some e-cigarettes amid a health scare linked to vaping — a move that would follow a similar ban enacted by Michigan and a call from President Trump for a federal prohibition on certain vaping products.

Speaking in Manhattan, Cuomo, a Democrat, said the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council and state health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker would issue an emergency regulation banning flavored e-cigarette products.

“Vaping is dangerous,” the governor said. “At a minimum, it is addicting young people to nicotine at a very early age.”
“We would ban all flavors besides tobacco and menthol,” he said.

The push at the state and federal levels to ban certain vaping products comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that 380 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarettes had been identified in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with six confirmed deaths.

Earlier this month, Michigan imposed a similar ban. Bills to halt the sale of flavored vaping products have been introduced in California and Massachusetts.

Last week, Trump, appearing beside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, announced that his administration would move toward a federal ban of flavored vaping products.

“Vaping has become a very big business, as I understand it, but we can’t allow people to get sick and allow our youth to be so affected,” the president said.

“We intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Azar said in a statement.

In July, Cuomo signed a law that raised the minimum age for purchase of tobacco and e-cigarettes in the state from 18 to 21.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/16/761098173/new-york-set-to-join-michigan-in-banning-e-cigarettes

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Venture Insurance Programs launches online platform for small business insurance

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Venture Insurance Programs

National insurance program administrator Venture Insurance Programs is introducing a new platform that will allow agents and brokers to better serve their small business clients.

The new Venture Small Business platform allows insurance professionals to quote and bind policies for over 150 classes of business within the same day. The platform will also provide several post-bind services such as direct billing, issuing ACORD certificates of insurance, policy document requests, and claims reporting/servicing.

Venture Small Business can quote and bind general and professional liability coverage for small businesses within the following industries:

Architecture and engineering
Landscaping services
Artisan contractors
Legal services
Consulting
Marketing and public relations
Creative and design
Health, beauty & fitness
Real estate
Financial services
Retail
Technology
Janitorial services

“Venture is pleased to offer this small business platform alongside our industry-specific products and services for agents and brokers,” said Venture Insurance Programs founder and president Phillip J. Harvey.

Harvey added that the dedicated online portal will assist producers in receiving quotes for their small business clients quickly and accurately, as well as in binding coverage.

 

Source insurancebusinessmag.com

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E-cigarette-maker Juul agrees to avoid targeting minors amid wave of vaping illnesses BY ANDREW SHEELER

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E-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs must restrict its marketing and promotion to avoid targeting minors under a new legal settlement agreement with the Oakland-based watchdog Center for Environmental Health.

The settlement in Alameda County Superior Court exposes Juul, which is co-owned by Atria, the parent company of tobacco giant Phillip Morris, to legal liability if it violates the agreement.

The agreement includes prohibitions on advertising in media with an audience 15 percent or more younger than age 21, advertising on social media outside of Juul’s age-restricted YouTube account and using models younger than 28.

The settlement comes as dozens of people across the nation have sicked from a mysterious vaping-related illness, one that has led to at least 26 deaths, according to the Associated Press.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order in September calling on his tax collectors to step up enforcement of the e-cigarette industry.

The Juul settlement, announced on Thursday, contains other prohibitions, including no advertising within 1,000 feet of a school or playground, no sponsoring sporting events or concerts that allow people under 21 and no paying or permitting company employees or contractors to appear at school or youth-oriented events.

The company also must replace the terms “adults only” and “not for use by minors” with “the sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited by law” in order to avoid enticing minors.

The agreement limits bulk sales of Juul products both online and at brick and mortar stores and requires Juul to continue it’s “secret shopper” program, which seeks to catch retailers selling Juul products without asking for ID.

“This settlement will reduce the number of children getting addicted to a neurotoxin like nicotine, and help protect them from other toxic chemicals present in Juul products,” said CEH’s CEO Michael Green in prepared remarks. “CEH intends to monitor the company closely and if Juul violates our agreement by one inch, we will sue them again.”

A spokesman for Juul said that the settlement affirms practices that the company already had in place.

“We have never marketed to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products, since our products exist solely to help adult smokers find an alternative to combustible cigarettes,” the spokesman said.

 

Source sacbee.com

BY ANDREW SHEELER

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Drug Giants Close In on a $50 Billion Settlement of Opioid Cases

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AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson

CLEVELAND — As a critical trial deadline bears down, lawyers for states and the three largest drug distributors in the country, along with two manufacturers, have agreed on a framework for a deal to resolve thousands of opioid cases with a settlement worth nearly $50 billion in cash and addiction treatments.

Three people familiar with the negotiations said that cities and counties across the country are tentatively supporting the broad parameters of the deal but are negotiating over its total value as well as attorneys’ fees. They warned that details could change and the deal could still fall apart before Monday, when opening statements are to begin in the first federal trial to determine responsibility for the opioid epidemic.

The agreement would release AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson, which together distribute about 90 percent of the country’s medicines, along with Johnson & Johnson and Teva, the Israeli-based manufacturer of generic medicines, from a rapidly growing list of more than 2,300 lawsuits that they face in federal and state courts.

All of the companies either didn’t return requests for comment or declined to do so.

Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are leading the talks for the states, along with lawyers for thousands of cities and counties whose cases are in federal court.

Since the late 1990s, more than 400,000 people in the United States have died from overdoses of prescription painkillers and illegal opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. The epidemic is considered one of the greatest public health crises in the country’s history.

The three drug distributors and Teva are defendants in the first trial, brought by two Ohio counties. With thousands of somewhat similar governmental lawsuits on the national runway, the Ohio suit is considered an important showcase that will test the strength of both sides’ witnesses and legal arguments before 12 jurors.

Even as discussions continue, so does the selection of a jury, in anticipation of the start of the trial should talks collapse.

Johnson & Johnson recently settled with the two Ohio counties for about $20.4 million, but the company is named in many of other suits, as well.

Many drug manufacturers and pharmacy chains also have been named as defendants in federal and state opioids cases, but they are apparently not involved in these negotiations.

The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma — which is currently in bankruptcy court — has a tentative and much-disputed agreement with lawyers for thousands of municipal suits in federal court and nearly two dozen states that, if finalized, would remove the company from most opioids cases as well.

According to people familiar with the talks, the combined value of the current deal breaks down as follows: $20 to $25 billion in cash to be divided among the states and localities to help pay for health care, law enforcement and other costs associated with the epidemic; and another $25 to $30 billion in addiction-treatment drugs, supplies and delivery services.

People familiar with the negotiations said many details are still being debated, including the timetable for when the money would be paid.

Whether the amount will be considered sufficient by all the plaintiffs remains to be seen. A new report by the Society of Actuaries projects the costs related to the opioid epidemic at $188 billion in 2019 alone, including health care, child and family assistance programs, criminal justice activities and lost wages.

People familiar with the talks said that a sticking point in negotiation is how much money will go toward attorneys’ fees for the private lawyers who represent governments in the overwhelming majority of cases and work on contingency.

Those lawyers filed the first opioid lawsuits in 2014 and have since conducted hundreds of depositions and compiled many millions of documents.

 

Source : nonperele

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