Trump Administration Moves to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

Close up of inhaling from an electronic cigarette

Close up of inhaling from an electronic cigarette. 6okean—Getty Images iStock

Secretary Azar says the FDA will soon issue a regulatory notice for the removal of most flavored vaping products from the market.

"Not only is it a problem overall, but really specifically with respect for children", Trump told reporters at the White House after a meeting with advisers including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Norman Sharpless.

Romney's letter came the same day President Trump announced his administration is looking to ban all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.

The exact cause of the deaths and illnesses have not been determined, but most are initially believed to be related to vaping counterfeit marijuana products containing vitamin E oil, which is risky if inhaled.

"It's not scaring me yet", says University of Ottawa student John Park, who vapes, "but maybe some time in the future, yeah".

Azar suggested that the ban on flavors could be the first step of many to keep children from vaping.

Agency officials instead said they were studying if flavours could help smokers quit traditional cigarettes. Almost 80% of teens who reported vaping said they tried flavors first. "We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth", she tweeted earlier this week. They have been available in the United States for more than 10 years. To be safe, public health officials are cautioning people against vaping anything until they know for sure.

A ban on flavors would be a huge blow to companies like San Francisco-based Juul, which sells mint, fruit and dessert flavored-nicotine pods. The new policy would allow the FDA to remove flavored products from the market. The public-health agency said on Friday that the lung-injury cases were appearing most often in people who used vaping products containing THC.

Trump's announcement received bipartisan support, including from his longtime Republican critic and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and several Democrats including Senate whip Dick Durbin, who commended the FDA for "doing its job".

It comes amid growing concern over how more than 450 people who reported recent use of e-cigarettes have fallen ill, with initial symptoms including breathing difficulty and chest pain before some were hospitalized and placed on ventilators. Further, he warned that, "if we find that children are being attracted to tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, if we find that manufacturers are marketing the tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes to children, or placing them in settings where they get them, we will take enforcement action there also". But FDA officials have repeatedly delayed enforcing regulations on them, referencing industry fears that regulation could wipe out thousands of small companies.

E-cigarettes are a popular substitute for traditional smoking products.

However, there is scant research on the long-term effects of vaping.

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