CUMBERLAND — Comptroller Peter Franchot will convene the first meeting of the e-facts Task Force on Electronic Smoking Devices on Dec. 3 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Allegany County Commissioner Jake Shade and Jeff Graham, vice president for student affairs at Frostburg State University, are members of the task force. The membership roster includes public health experts, industry representatives, business owners, educational scholars, students and elected officials from both parties from across Maryland.

Citing an alarming number of reports about serious illnesses, lung disease and deaths that are attributable to vaping, the comptroller announced the creation of the task force to examine the public health and safety implications of electronic smoking devices.

As Maryland’s chief tobacco regulator, the comptroller is charged with safeguarding public health, protecting consumers and keeping dangerous products out of the hands of children.

Meetings will continue into early 2020 with a goal of producing a final report and submitting suggested legislation to the Maryland General Assembly during the upcoming legislative session.

The task force hopes to achieve a better understanding of ESDs, including the distinctions between various products within the marketplace, and to gain a comprehensive picture of the public health and safety impacts of ESDs and commercial effects of product sales in Maryland.

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