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Hearing to be held in Rhode Island on proposed flavored vape products ban

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island health officials will hold a public hearing on proposed regulations to permanently ban the sale of flavored vaping products in the state.

The state Department of Health said the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Providence.

The department is considering making the temporary ban currently in effect in Rhode Island permanent.

Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order in September banning the sale of flavored vaping products. In response, the Health Department issued emergency regulations Oct. 4 to implement a four-month ban, with an optional two-month extension.

The department has said it's acting now to permanently ban flavored vaping products because the temporary ban will soon lapse, and it wants to prevent teenagers and adolescents from vaping, given the health concerns.

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Raimondo supports a permanent ban.

Federal health officials say there have been 55 vaping-related deaths across the country, including one in Rhode Island, and more than 2,500 vaping-related hospitalizations nationwide.

The state Health Department is accepting public comment until Jan. 26.