A look at the Ubiquitous Habit of capitalizing letters to make A Point

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In the era of text messaging, tweeting, and digital communication, capitalization can be a Real Bitch.

From a young age, we’re trained to capitalize the first letter of defined terms, the beginning of sentences, and proper nouns — the names of people and any specific places or things. But over the past few years an increasing number of Extremely Online individuals have invented a series of new capitalization uses that don’t play by the rules set out by English teachers and style guides. 

Nowadays, there’s the common practice of typing a word in all caps to indicate SCREAMING, the use of aLteRnAtInG cApS (often associated with SpongeBob memes) to convey mockery, or a complete lack of capitalization, which can be done purposefully to come across as extremely chill, or simply because one can’t be bothered to occasionally reach for the Shift key.

But there’s another trend I’ve seen rampantly recurring, in which more and more people intentionally capitalize the first letter of select words to make them stand out, Like So. It’s Everywhere. And I want to know Why?

At some point in time capitalizing words Like This became an accepted practice, a secret code we all silently agreed to start using. But how exactly did it become a norm, and what compels so many people to employ the technique?

As you might logically assume, one of the main reasons people engage in rogue capitalization is to convey emphasis. Expert linguists expanded upon Emphatic Capitalization in a 2018 article by Mashable’s Rachel Thompson, but after talking to a selection of self-proclaimed Atypical Capitalizers, I learned there are a variety of other reasons why people partake in the trend.

The endless Creativity Competition

It seems part of The Capitalization Appeal stems from the sheer competitive nature of social media. Every day people log online to share photographs, thoughts, takes, and feelings for the purpose of connecting with one another. But because all of that content can be validated through likes, favorites, or retweets, oftentimes people aren’t simply trying to share pieces of themselves. Instead, they’re trying make those pieces some of the funniest, deepest, or most groundbreaking content.

Occasionally, capitalized words in texts or tweets not only highlight an original idea, but give off an extra sense of pride one has in that idea. For instance, after Mashable’s newsroom recently learned of Kraft sticking dressing in a tube and rebranding it as Salad Frosting, my editor asked us via Slack which food we’d each like to see served in a tube. One colleague replied, “hmmm maybe cookie dough,” to which another chimed in to say, “that’s already in Tube Form.” When questioned why they chose to spring for the capital letters in that instance, they said they often partake in the trend “to make something sound more ironically official.”

The unnecessary caps act as an indicator of sorts. Not only do they alert readers that the altered text is the most important part of a thought, but also that the writer has a certain sense of humor. I witnessed this humor firsthand when tweeting to ask my followers if anyone participated in Acts Of Rebellious Capitalization. Every single Extremely Self-Aware person who replied made sure to lightheartedly own their capitalization habit in their responses, fully embracing the technique as part of their personality.

Why do some people Capitalize Letters when they're trying to make A Point?

Image: mashable composite

In some extreme cases, people follow capped words with a trademark symbol to jokingly claim ownership of a phrase in a more official way.

“When I use the trademark symbol in conversation, I am somewhat using it for emphasis, but also as a mode of distinction, if that makes sense. Like, This Is Important but This Is Important, Almost Moreso™,” Emerson Schoenike, an 18-year-old who describes venturing outside formal capitalization style as their “Brand,” explained in a message on Twitter.

Andrea Butler, 25, agrees that capitalizing certain words has a lot to do with personal branding. “For example, I wrote ‘a fellow Very Feminist friend’ in an Instagram caption the other day, because being Very Feminist is part of my (and my friend’s) brand,” she shared in a Mashable interview. Butler also thinks that capitalization can “be a way to poke fun at things that aren’t very serious but people make serious.”

“If I said I have a Big Date tonight (especially if I included the trademark symbol,) that would mean I am going on a date which I know should be considered a big deal,” Butler says, “but by writing it as a proper noun I am being ironic.” 

In a sense, the ™ symbol works to make certain words honorary proper nouns, like the linguistics version of Gretchen Wieners trying to make Fetch⁽™⁾ a thing in Mean Girls.

The Cultural Influence on caps

While personal branding can play a role in the decision to overdo it with uppercase letters, certain cultural aspects and celebrity figures also influence the trend.

Steve Carley, 28, who occasionally capitalizes words “that indicate a Thing in order to emphasize the importance of that Thing,” told Mashable he picked up the habit from none other than Stephen King. Carley noted that the author’s been referring to his dog as “Molly, the Thing of Evil” on Twitter since 2015.

One of King’s least favorite Twitter users, Donald Trump, also loves to capitalize words in tweets — though his capitalizations can often come across as random and nonsensical.

Whether it’s Fake News Media, Enemy of the People, Country, Treason, Obstruction and Collusion, or the many other words he unnecessarily capitalizes without explanation, his bad habit could certainly be inspiring someone to switch up their caps style.

The trend has been around long before Trump took office, though, and Schoenike thinks that the recent rise might also have something to do with “the increasing amount of Gen Zs becoming active online.”

Schoenike, who sees the style a lot on Tumblr, explained that their generation has grown up in the era of peak internet lingo, which means they’re used to constantly code switching and are eager to hop on board with different typing styles.

It’s not always Directly Our Fault

In some cases, people aren’t fully responsible for  capitalizing mid-sentence. Several people with iOS devices, for example, have noticed that random words automatically capitalize when they type. You can disable the auto-caps feature through Settings on your iPhone, but oftentimes people contribute to the trend by leaving the capitalized words be.

And of course there’s always the possibility that Twitter users are developing shared communication norms as a result of constantly consuming each other’s typing habits. “I think the trend is becoming popular because like any online trend, you see someone do it and think it’s clever so you pick up on it,” Butler says, comparing it to the popular trend of people using the tilde in conversation years ago.

In a 2016 piece for Slate, Katy Waldman also noted that the trend may have been sparked by the fact that “Twitter does not allow users to type in boldface or italics.” The same goes for texting.

Nicole Moriarty, 33, first started using this capitalization style when she became a business owner and had to communicate with her employees via text. “It’s hard to make sure the right tone is coming across via text, but I wanted them to respond [so] I would capitalize words of import and then throw some emojis on there to be like, ‘This [is] Really important that you answer But I’m not mad I literally Just need an answer.'” 

While there are text converters such as Twitalics that generate bold or italicized fonts, it takes quite a bit of effort, unlike capitalization. “I think the trend will continue because it’s easier to capitalize something than it is to underline or italicize it when you’re texting,” Moriarty says.

The Good and The Bad

The uninhibited capitalization, if done skillfully, can be quite charming, but the habit also has the potential to be Incredibly Irritating at times. 

I enjoy when the capitalizations are creative, such as  made up positions like “Senior Crush Correspondent™” or ideal franchises like the “Krasinski Cinematic Universe.” I’m even a sucker for the occasional parody of “Big Dick Energy.” But for some reason whenever I see people type “Very Bad,” “Very Good,” or the worst offense, “V Bad,” I find the style absolutely hideous. For Carley, who also has a love/hate relationship with the trend, the breaking point comes whenever he sees someone type, “I did a Thing.”

“It’s tough, because it really is a cheesy thing to do in 2019, but at the same time the fact that it’s almost universally easy to understand the intent is what makes it fun to do,” Carley says.

Moriarty says she’s a fan of the trend because she has attention deficit disorder and finds it helpful when people point her to what she’s supposed to be focusing on. Butler thinks the capitalizations are amusing, but “like any internet trend it can be irritating when used in excess.”

When it comes to Emphatic Capitalization, excess could mean overuse or Capitalizing Every Word As Though You’re Writing A ClickHole Headline, which comes across as Extra Annoying to some.

However, as Luce Carter, a software developer for Dunnhumby in the UK, brought up, it’s important to capitalize the first letter of words in hashtags to make them more accessible.

“Screen readers struggle to read hashtags when it is all lowercase as it doesn’t have the spaces to distinguish between the words. If you capitalize each letter in the hashtag then it does a much better job,” she explained. 

Capitalization has truly come a long way.

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This futuristic 3-in-1 mobility concept comes with a thrilling ‘roller coaster’ mode

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The congested roads that line our cities are filled with countless vehicles that contain only a single occupant, resulting in unnecessarily busy roads and longer commute times. Whilst car-sharing services and compact two-seaters have attempted to tackle this problem, none of the proposed solutions have been able to persuade people to leave their comfort zone. However, this Mobility-R3 concept may just be the dramatic change that gets people moving!

This futuristic concept adapts to the user’s needs as it transforms between three forms (Regular, Roaming & Roller Coaster mode) of transports! First off, the roaming mode brings flexibility to the device, allowing the user to explore the city streets in style. When it comes to hitting the road, the larger section of the device connects to the wheels providing an enclosure for the user to be seated within. If they are seeking a thrill then R3 can take on its final form, the appropriately named ‘Roller Coaster Mode’ wherein the seat reclines to create a streamlined form that cuts through the busy streets and introduces an element of excitement to the journey!

Designer: Dennis Cheng

Regular Mode

Roller Coaster Mode

Roaming Mode

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Astrologists and Libras are furious that Facebook named its new cryptocurrency after an astrological sign that promotes balance and fairness

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Libra horoscope

After months of Facebook teasing that it’s been working on a digital currency, the powerful tech company unveiled Tuesday that it’s cryptocurrency is called Libra.

There are many questions left unanswered in the wake of Facebook’s announcement, from how the cryptocurrency will be regulated globally to whether a Facebook-run monetary system can even be trusted. But it’s also important to note that Facebook’s decided to name its highly anticipated cryptocurrency Libra, an astrological sign that comes with its own connotations and meanings.

In astrology, Libra is represented by a balanced scale. The sign denotes fairness, justice, and "even distribution," astrologist Aliza Kelly told Business Insider. The sign also denotes "something that’s going to provide a consistency through whatever is going on," Kelly said.

Whether you believe in astrology or not, it’s fair to assume that a company like Facebook didn’t take lightly the decision of what to name its cryptocurrency. But whether it was purposeful or coincidental, Libras — including mehave wasted no time taking to social media to say how they don’t appreciate their sign being used by Facebook.

"Libras have a right to be peeved! Facebook is attempting to represent themselves as fair and just, akin to Libra’s most positive qualities," astrologist Mackenzie Greer told Business Insider. "Given their track record, I’m not so sure they’ll be able to live up to the Libra name!"

Read more: Here’s what Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra will look like and how it will work

Facebook has faced a seemingly endless stream of scandals in the past few years, many of which have raised questions of whether the company can be trusted or whether it keeps its users’ best interests at the forefront of what it does. But Facebook is trying to dispel that narrative with its new cryptocurrency; CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the launch of Libra is a part of the company’s "vision for a privacy-focused social platform."

So that makes Libra an apt choice to name the cryptocurrency, astrologists told Business Insider.

"[Facebook] is attempting to ride on the back of the positive qualities that Libra as a sign naturally possesses," Greer said. "Perhaps Facebook is trying to claim this new cryptocurrency will be one that attempts to replicate these Libran standards of morality, fairness, and balance in its use of monetary exchange? Seems like a nice picture to paint of itself."

The world of astrology and horoscopes has boomed into a billion-dollar industry that has grown exponentially in popularity. Kelly, who hosts a mythological podcast called "Stars Like Us," says booms in interest in astrology have correlated with "periods of uncertainty," such as in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. 

"When life gets crazy on earth, we look for some answers in the stars," Kelly said.

For Facebook, whose year has been tumultuous, choosing Libra as the name to turn over a new leaf seems far from coincidence.

"Now is the time for us to be acting with the diplomacy and compassion embodied by Libra … which frankly, I just don’t see with Facebook," astrologist Claire Goodchild said.

SEE ALSO: Millennials are bringing astrology back into the mainstream with this popular iPhone app — here’s how to use Co-Star to see who you’re compatible with

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Ford’s delivery robot that walks on two legs like a human

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Here’s everything you need to know about CBD, the cannabis compound that’s in everything from coffee to ice cream and could soon be a $16 billion business

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By Chloe CBD CREDIT Leslie Kirchhoff2

  • Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a key compound in cannabis plants, though it doesn’t cause marijuana’s high.
  • CBD is being added to foods, drinks and creams. The evidence for many wellness claims about CBD is thin, though it is a key ingredient in one prescription drug.
  • Business Insider reports regularly on the growing business of CBD. You can read all our stories by subscribing to BI Prime.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is popping up everywhere, from creams to coffee to prescriptions. CBD is one of the key compounds in cannabis plants, though it doesn’t cause marijuana’s characteristic high. It’s being touted as a treatment for all kinds of ailments, but the evidence for some uses is thin.

Meanwhile, CBD is already a $1 billion industry, and some on Wall Street think it could reach $16 billion, aided in part by a recent change in US law that made some CBD legal. 

The CBD boom on Wall Street

Food and Science:

Startups, venture capital and private equity

Policy

Lists

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Researchers believe psychedelic drugs could combat depression and addiction. Here’s how magic mushrooms affect your brain.

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Get inspired to declutter with our collection of minimal designs: Part 2

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Whether we agree to this in public or not, but all of us have spent some time watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and promising we will declutter just after the next episode! My personal experience was that I have too many items that ‘spark joy’ for me. Keeping this aside, minimalism is a trend that took the world by storm some time back. Be it Scandinavian, Danish or Japanese, there is something very unique and calming to see a design with clean, simple lines placed in a clutter-free environment. And as we did with the Part 1 of this series, we are sure this collection of minimally designed products will inspire you to enter this zen space.

The Stretch Board by Taijiro Ishiko 

Helios Lights by James Vanderpant 

The Brick Light from Paolo Rizzatto 

Personality TV stand by Blond Creative for Samsung TV 

Usetool Toothbrush holds a complete sterilization center, by Jiyoun Kim Studio

Hive View Smart Indoor Camera by fuseproject for Hive 

Outdoor seating designed by Patrick Norguet and Alias Design for McDonalds

Minimal Jewelry by Mara Paris

The field minimal shelving system by Dmitri Kozinenko 

The storm tray from 24d-Studio 

Respiro Light by Philippe Nigro 

Loved these designs? Discover more minimal designs with our Part 1 of this series.

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A Porsche fit for the dark lord

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Although one wouldn’t imagine Lord Commander Vader to drive around the Death Star in one of these vehicles (keen Star Wars fans would even point out that none of the vehicles in Star Wars even have tires to begin with), this Custom 60′ Porsche 356 RSR seems to perfectly capture Darth Vader’s inner spirit, with its matte-black bodywork and Vader-esque trims on the front as well as the back.

The Vadermobile (sounds like an apt name, no?) was the result of a 4 year project of reimagining a Porsche 1960 356B T5 coupe, by adding hand-formed removable aluminium tail and nose details that take heavy inspiration from the Dark Lord’s black suit, along with a one-piece aluminium hood with an oil cooler air outlet, and stainless mesh grills for the cooling ducts, giving the car it’s signature dark-side appeal. The car’s paint job is bespoke too, a matte finish that Emory calls Meteorite Matte Metallic.

On the inside, the custom automobile holds a 393 horsepower Emory-Rothsport twin-turbo Outlaw-4 engine, an 18-gallon fuel safe fuel cell, and a Radium PCST fuel delivery system. The interiors are a testament to the designers’ love of MOMO products, with the brand’s steering wheel, harnesses, and even custom seats, modelled after the 911 RSR, wrapped in flame-retardant Spanish Red Veltex fabric, complete with embroidered MOMO logos.

Emory Motorsports debuted the Vader-inspired Porsche 356 RSR at Luftgekühlt in Los Angeles last month, and just like Lord Commander Vader himself, this automobile is one of a kind!

Designer: Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports

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The 7 Nature Photography Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

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The post The 7 Nature Photography Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Do you like to do nature photography?

Then you might be making these 7 mistakes.

And here’s the thing:

These nature photography mistakes are the kind that you don’t even know you’re making. They’re the type of mistakes that are easy to miss, but they’re absolutely critical to your photography.

To discover these mistakes (and to ensure you never make them again!), read on!

1. Shooting under bad lighting

I’m going to start with the single most critical, most common mistake I see nature photographers making:

Shooting in poor lighting conditions.

Because good light is absolutely essential to good nature photography.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that without good light, you cannot get a good photo. It’s so easy to have the perfect setup, the perfect composition, and the perfect settings…

…only to ruin the shot with bad light.

So what counts as bad light?

Two main situations.

First, shooting under the harsh, midday sun will pretty much always ruin your shots. The midday sun just isn’t good for nature photography!

And second, shooting in low light, at any time of the day. Unless you’re shooting with a tripod, your shots will end up grainy or blurry, which you definitely don’t want.

Which begs the question:

What is good light?

I recommend that you do nature photography at two main times.

First, you can capture some great nature photography under cloudy skies. Cloudy light is especially great for photography that involves color because the clouds diffuse the light and saturate the colors.

Second, you can always rely on the golden hours, which are the two hours after sunrise and before sunset. Golden-hour light is warm, wonderful and, well, golden. It’s perfect for capturing that stunning, once-in-a-lifetime shot.

In fact, most of the best nature photography you’ve seen was probably taken during golden hour. It’s just that amazing!

2. Shooting your subject from a standing height

Here’s another common nature photography mistake:

Not paying attention to your angle!

(More specifically, photographing from a standing height, so that you’re shooting down toward your subject.)

This is especially problematic in wildlife and macro photography, where shooting downward conveys a sense of dominance and separation.

Instead of shooting downward, try to get on a level with your subject. That way, the viewer will feel much more connected, like they’re in the same world as your subject.

And don’t just shoot from a single angle. Try to experiment with different possibilities, and take note of the way a different angle results in a different nature photo.

This is a great way to get out of a creative rut: Force yourself to shoot a subject from an angle you’ve never used before. Get on the ground and shoot upward!

3. Using a (slightly) messy background

In nature photography, the background is absolutely essential.

If you don’t include the perfect background, then your photos just won’t stun the viewer.

And one of the easiest mistakes to make is using a messy background.

You’ve got to do everything you can to avoid the mess. You must avoid chaos. Instead, you need to produce a background that’s as simple as possible:

  • Uniform in color
  • No additional subjects
  • No lines or shapes

Your goal is to make your subject stand out. And to do that, you have to eliminate everything that’s unnecessary in the background. Only include the essentials.

4. Photographing low-quality subjects

Once you’ve found a subject…

…do you check to make sure that it’s not damaged, dirty, or poor quality?

It’s so easy to forget this step. And yet it’s critical to capturing a stunning nature photo.

I recommend you always do a quick evaluation of your subject.

If it’s a flower, then you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • Are there any blemishes or holes?
  • Are there any spots of dirt or mud?
  • Are there any insects in the center of the flower?

If it’s a landscape, then think about:

  • Whether there’s any litter or human-made items
  • Whether your foreground subject is damaged

Your evaluation doesn’t need to be in-depth. You should just spend enough time to be certain your subject is in good shape.

5. Not including a point of focus in your compositions

This is another quick way to ruin a great nature photo.

Because basically, every composition must have a point of focus.

By this, I mean that you must include a subject. Something that viewers can latch onto. The subject can be whatever you like (as long as it’s there!).

If you’re shooting landscapes, then try to include a subject in both the foreground and the background. Ideally, the foreground subject will lead the eye to the background.

If you’re shooting wildlife, then your subject is pretty much guaranteed. Just make sure that you emphasize the wildlife in your photo!

And if you’re shooting macro photos, then make sure that an aspect of your subject is tack-sharp, so that your viewer’s eyes go straight to it.

6. Shooting low-contrast scenes

This mistake is a bit more advanced, but still important to keep in mind.

When you’re doing nature photography, you should strive to avoid ultra-low contrast scenes.

By ‘low-contrast scenes,’ I’m referring to those with very little variation in tone (that is, lights and darks) and color.

A low-contrast scene might be almost entirely white.

Or it might be entirely red, or blue, or black.

What’s the problem with low-contrast scenes?

The lack of contrast makes every element blend in. So no single element stands out, and the photo becomes boring.

Which is exactly what you want to avoid.

Instead, look for scenes where the subject pops off the background. And look for scenes where you have some nice shadows and nice highlights.

I should note: It is possible to use low-contrast scenes for an artistic effect. But you have to do it deliberately, and it’s extremely easy to mess it up.

So I recommend you stick to high-contrast scenes. That’s how you’ll avoid low-contrast issues!

7. Not post-processing your nature photos

There are three fundamental aspects of every nature photo. They are:

  1. Light
  2. Composition
  3. Post-Processing

If you can nail all three of these things, then you’re set. Your photos will be stunning. And we’ve already talked about light, and how you should shoot during the golden hours. We’ve already talked about composition, and how you must include a point of focus.

But we haven’t talked about post-processing. And here’s the thing:

Without post-processing, your nature photos just won’t stand out. Because editing is what adds that finishing touch, that last bit of shine, to your nature photography.

Now, you don’t have to do much editing. But there are a few things I recommend you do to every photo:

  1. Check the exposure. It’s especially common to let your photos remain underexposed. So make sure that the shadows in your photo still look nice and detailed.
  2. Check the contrast. In general, I recommend boosting the contrast of your nature photos. This gives an extra bit of punch and will help your images stand out.
  3. Check the saturation. While it’s easy to overdo this step, a little bit of saturation goes a long way. You want your colors to look deep, but natural.

If you can just follow these three steps, then your nature photography will look so much better.

Nature photography mistakes: conclusion

Now you should know all about these seven deadly nature photography mistakes.

And you’re prepared to avoid them!

The key is to just keep a lookout. Maybe even create a checklist.

Then, when you’re shooting in the field, you’ll make sure that none of these happens, and your photography will turn out better than ever.

Have any nature photography mistakes that I didn’t discuss? Share them in the comments!

 

nature photography mistakes

The post The 7 Nature Photography Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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San Francisco set to become first US city to ban e-cigarettes

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San Francisco has edged towards becoming the first US city to ban sales of e-cigarettes, as well as the manufacturing and distribution of them on city property. A preliminary vote saw city supervisors unanimously approve a ban on e-cigarettes the Food and Drug Administration has yet to review. It hasn’t assessed any yet and companies have until 2021 to apply for reviews of their products under the agency’s draft guidelines.

A final vote on the measure will take place next week, and it seems likely to pass into law. Dennis Herrera, San Francisco’s city attorney, said young people "have almost indiscriminate access to a product that shouldn’t even be on the market" as things stand.

The ban could have a big impact on Juul, perhaps the best-known e-cigarette brand. Its headquarters are in the city’s port, and it has butted heads with officials. In March, Herrera asked the company to explain why it has a tobacco distributor license at its HQ when it has denied selling tobacco products or cigarettes on the premises. Juul would still be able to maintain its port offices if the ban comes into effect, though it revealed this week it would expand into a downtown office block it bought.

"The prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year," a Juul spokesman told the Associated Press.

The FDA has also put e-cigarettes (and Juul, in particular) in its sights. In November, it limited the sales of flavored e-cigarettes, and has suggested Juul and investor (and tobacco giant) Altria aren’t doing enough to stop teens from vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this year that more than a fifth of high schoolers had used an e-cigarette product in 2018. Juul is also facing investigations from federal lawmakers over teen vaping use.

The San Francisco ban wouldn’t go into effect for at least seven months, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Juul, meanwhile, is backing an effort to collect signatures for a November ballot measure to block the ban.

Via: Gizmodo

Source: SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle

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