Newsletter: Today: The Teen E-Cig ‘Epidemic’

The Food and Drug Administration announced a crackdown on makers of electronic cigarettes, saying they must come up with a plan to prevent their products from getting in the hands of minors.
(Getty Images)

The FDA says the e-cigarette industry must do more to stop its products from getting in the hands of minors.


The Teen E-Cig ‘Epidemic’

Vape. Juul. E-cig. Whatever you call them, e-cigarettes have become a multibillion-dollar industry and the tobacco product most commonly used by American teens. Citing an “epidemic of nicotine addiction” among young people, the Food and Drug Administration says it is cracking down on e-cigarette manufacturers. It has directed them to draw up detailed plans for stopping sales to minors and threatened to pull a range of products, including flavorings styled after juice boxes, candy and cookies. Even so, the stocks of some e-cigarette makers jumped — namely, the Big Tobacco companies whose product lines include traditional cigarettes.


Tariffs and Their Hidden Effects

The economy is growing. Stock prices are up. Tax cuts and deregulation are taking effect. For American businesses, what’s not to love? President Trump’s tariffs. The taxes on imports are ensnaring a growing range of companies at home and abroad, from a metal fabricator in Nebraska to roughly half of U.S. firms operating in China. For now, the effects have been masked. That could change next year.

More Politics

-- Congress is scrambling to fund much of the federal government before Oct. 1, anxious to avoid a government shutdown or a battle over Trump’s demands for a border wall right before the midterm elections.


-- Congressional Republicans are launching another push for tax cuts, but it’s more about the November election ballot than your 1040 form, and is believed to have no chance of passing the Senate this year.

-- Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been in talks with the special counsel’s office about a possible plea deal, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Carbon-Neutral Cuisine

Have you considered the carbon footprint of your lunch? With Day 2 of the global climate summit in San Francisco underway, five dozen restaurants are promising a carbon-free dining experience. While some might dismiss that as San Francisco being San Francisco, the topic of food and food waste contributing to climate change is serious business. Food waste alone creates about 8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S., that is the equivalent of the emissions spewed by 43 million cars.


A First Step Toward Quake Safety?

What if there were a list of buildings most vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake? Los Angeles, San Francisco and some other California cities already have one; many others do not. That’s why the state Legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would require cites and counties in the most seismically vulnerable areas to draw up such lists. One big problem, though: The bill does not provide any money for the undertaking.

Echoes of the Ghost Ship

Officials say it was a recipe for disaster: Makeshift rooms. Illegal wiring. Filthy conditions. Police detained more than 60 people who were living in what residents described as an artists community not far from the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine, in a building that was home to the iO West improvisational comedy theater until February. The conditions were reminiscent of Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse, where 36 people died in a 2016 fire.


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-- Behind the scenes at the L.A. Times’ photo and video studio at the Toronto International Film Festival.



-- Riverside County’s top social services official has left her job amid allegations that social workers failed to report and adequately investigate child abuse and neglect claims.

-- Columnist George Skelton looks at the environmental protesters who say Gov. Brown isn’t doing enough.

-- A campaign by preservationists to get monument status for three buildings the Los Angeles Times occupied for decades will have the support of city staff.

-- A pristine pink wall that attracts selfie-snapping visitors to a corner of Melrose Avenue has been vandalized with vulgar graffiti.



-- “Murphy Brown,” “The Conners” and 40 more TV shows premiering on the small screen this fall.

-- What to make of director Shane Black’s “The Predator”? Film critic Justin Chang calls it a snarky, gory reboot with some ugly baggage.

-- Singer Patti Smith discusses activism in the age of Trump: “I’m not going down with the ship, that’s for certain.”


-- “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” is a refreshing take on youthful rivalries and machinations, according to theater critic Charles McNulty.


This week in 1972, someone stole the trumpet that a wax figure of Louis Armstrong was holding at the Hollywood Wax Museum — and broke off some of the wax figure’s fingers in the process. Definitely not a good night at the museum.

Sept. 13, 1972: A wax figure of Louis Armstrong stands without his familiar trumpet at Hollywood Wax Museum.
(Fitzgerald Whitney / Los Angeles Times)


-- Hurricane Florence is shaping up to be one of the most powerful storms in a generation. It’s due to make landfall Friday or early Saturday in the Carolinas.

-- Is speech critical of Israel anti-Semitic? In a case that could redefine campus politics in the U.S., the Trump administration is weighing in.

-- Pope Francis has summoned the heads of every bishops conference in the world to a February summit to discuss sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clerics.


-- In separate speeches, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned against the danger of intensifying nationalism across Europe.


-- For more than 30 years, Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb has been unable to erase the memories of encounters with Leslie Moonves, the once-powerful chief executive of CBS. Her allegations have become central to CBS’ investigation.

-- Jeff Fager, who has overseen the top-rated TV news magazine “60 Minutes” since 2004, was fired from CBS News.


-- Apple has unveiled the big $1,099 iPhone XS Max and an upgraded Apple Watch it’s pitching as a health device.


-- The challenges UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes has seen on the field pale in comparison with those he’s faced in his life.

-- After the Serena Williams incident at the U.S. Open, tennis officials are upset at a perceived lack of support from the sport’s governing bodies.



-- Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg write that, even without the Trump administration, the U.S. is upholding its commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

-- One-third of American schools still contain asbestos. That’s unconscionable.



-- Barbara Res, a former vice president at the Trump Organization: “To an extent, Trump has always relied on people not to follow his most ridiculous orders.” (New York Daily News)

-- Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the hitmaker behind “Designing Women,” writes that Moonves kept her shows off the air for seven years. (The Hollywood Reporter)

-- Why is the L.A. Unified School District’s coffee cake like Proust’s madeleine for millions of people? (LAist)



Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler has missed only three games in four decades — and witnessed the team lose more than 2,000 times in more than 3,000 games. Over the years, he saw his fellow L.A. broadcasters Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and Bob Miller celebrate championships. But he never lost hope. At the end of this NBA season, he’ll be leaving the booth: “This is my 40th year with the Clippers, my 60th year in broadcasting, my 80th year on earth … and it just seems inescapable.” Oh me, oh my.

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