JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri officials are developing a public safety campaign aimed at making young people aware of the risks of vaping.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson said at a news conference Tuesday that he is directing leaders of the state health, education and public safety departments to develop a statewide campaign within 30 days. The goal is to educate, warn and discourage vaping.

State health director Randall Williams says there has been an “explosion” in the number of youths who are vaping in Missouri and across the country.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that nationwide, vaping is now blamed on about 1,300 illnesses and at least 26 deaths. Missouri has reported nearly two dozen vaping illnesses and one death.

Parson calls the campaign a “first step.”

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