News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: E-Cigs, YouTube, and Big Numbers for the NFL

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Sep 5, 2019



The Story

Michigan just became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

I'm going to need more details.

E-cigs have become really popular in recent years, with the FDA calling teen vaping an "epidemic." In 2018, more than 3 million middle and high school students used e-cigs. At least one person has died from a vaping-related lung illness. And the CDC and some states are investigating dozens of similar illnesses. Now, after Michigan's chief medical executive declared youth vaping a public health crisis, the governor is taking matters into her own hands. She's banning flavored e-cig sales in stores and online until the gov there can come up with permanent regulations.


E-cigarettes were introduced in the early 2000s as a way to wean people off of cigarette smoking, which kills more than 480,000 Americans each year. But this popular alternative is ending up in the hands of kids. And Michigan is the first state to say 'the buck stops here.'

The National Rifle Association

The Story

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors just labeled the NRA a "domestic terrorist organization."

Is that a thing it can do?

Well it just did. Back in July, a mass shooting in Gilroy, California (about 80 miles away from SF) left three people dead. So earlier this week, the city's board of supervisors unanimously passed a resolution to label the NRA as a "domestic terrorist organization." It's accusing the NRA of using its influence to "promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence." The NRA reportedly says this is all just a way to distract people from other issues in SF, including homelessness and petty crime. And says it'll continue to advocate for "the constitutional rights of all freedom-loving Americans."


About 36,000 people in the US die in gun-related incidents every year. This resolution isn't binding, but it's calling on the city to look into its financial relationship with companies that work with the NRA. And advocating that other cities, states, and the federal government do the same.


The Story

Google is writing a big check to the Federal Trade Commission and New York state.

And why's that?

A 1998 federal law prohibits companies from collecting and sharing personal data of kids under 13 if they don't get parental consent. But it's 2019 and tech companies aren't exactly tripping over themselves to protect your data. The FTC and NY accused YouTube – which is part of Google – of violating the children's privacy law by collecting data from kids and using it for targeted ads. Now Google is paying $170 million to settle, apparently without admitting that it did anything wrong. It's also agreeing to stop collecting data on videos made for kids.


This seems to be the largest-ever FTC penalty in a children's data privacy case. But some argue that this punishment won't do enough, considering Google makes billions in revenue. Let the debate continue on whether big tech should be regulated or if it just keeps getting slaps on the wrist.

PS: GV (formerly Google Ventures) is a minority investor in theSkimm.


What has more plot twists under its sleeve than JK Rowling…

Brexit. Yesterday, Parliament passed a bill to avoid a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31. Yes, that's next month. It could still happen then. But yesterday, lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempt to hold a national election to get a majority in Parliament and make his Brexit dreams come true (aka the divorce needs to happen with or without a deal). Stay tuned or, you know, don't. Brexit will or won't happen either way.

  • Get this: Lawmakers also agreed to an amendment that puts former PM Theresa May's Brexit deal back on the table. You know, the one that lawmakers voted down. Not once, not twice, but three times. Somewhere, May must be laughing.

What people are watching…

Hurricane Dorian. It's moved off Florida's east coast toward Georgia and the Carolinas, and regained strength to become a Category 3. The National Hurricane Center says the places in the storm's path face "destructive winds, flooding rains, and life-threatening storm surges." Meanwhile, the Bahamas is still dealing with the devastation of the storm – which killed at least 20 people there.

...Oh and don't trust every map you see. Alabama isn't in the storm's path.

Who wants you to know her name…

Chanel Miller. She was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner – who could have faced 14 years in prison for his conviction but was sentenced to six months in jail (and served only three). She didn't reveal her name at the time but made headlines for the statement she read at the sentencing hearing. Now, after years of anonymity, she's telling her story in a memoir scheduled to come out later this month.

Who people are thinking about…

Mac Miller. Federal prosecutors have charged a man in connection with his death. The man allegedly supplied Miller with counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl two days before the rapper died from a drug overdose. If convicted, the man faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

When the NFL's 100th season kicks off tonight…

Ezekiel Elliott will be making it rain.

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