Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes
Trump administration officials, alarmed by new data showing a huge jump in vaping by young people, said they are moving to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, a major development that could result in sweeping changes in the sprawling market.
In an Oval Office meeting Wednesday that included first lady Melania Trump, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and acting Food and Drug Administration commissioner Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, President Trump said: “We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our youth be so affected.” He added that the first lady, who Tuesday tweeted a warning about vaping, feels “very, very strongly” about the issue because of their 13-year-old son, Barron.
The administration’s move comes as health officials across the country investigate more than 450 cases, including six deaths, of lung disease linked to vaping. Many patients have reported using cannabis-related products, but authorities have not ruled out any specific type of vaping. With the picture still murky, critics have seized the moment to press for tougher regulation of conventional e-cigarettes, which come in sweet and fruity flavors that have been favored by many young people.
Donald Trump ban flavoured vaping because ‘people are dying’
Donald Trump has moved to ban flavours used in e-cigarettes following a series of deaths linked to vaping. Across the United States, six people have died and more than 450 have fallen ill in recent months, with symptoms including breathing difficulty and chest pain.
Several teenagers have been placed in medically induced comas. No single vaping device, ingredient or additive has been identified as the cause.
Mr Trump said: “Vaping has become very big business, giant, in a short period of time. We can’t have our youth be so affected. People are dying from vaping so were looking at it very closely. People are going to watch what we’re saying and parents are going to be a lot tougher with respect to their children.”
He added: “People say vaping is wonderful. It’s really not wonderful, that’s one thing we can say definitely. We may well have to do something strong about it.”
Mr Trump said his wife Melania, the first lady, had been involved in discussions about vaping because “she’s got a son, she feels very strongly about it.”
Alex Azar, the health secretary, whose department oversees the Food and Drug Administration, which in turn regulates, e-cigarettes, said guidelines would be developed to remove all flavours from the market, especially those attractive to children.
But there is little evidence that e-cigarettes are effective for helping smokers quit. They are also hugely popular among adolescents, who makers have targeted with fruit and candy flavourings.
Around 3.6 million US school pupils used vaping products in 2018, an increase of 1.5 million from the year before. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged people to cease vaping while investigations into deaths and illnesses are underway.
A spokeswoman for the American Lung Association said: “We’ve been sounding the alarm for a long time and are so grateful to hear the president’s announcement. “The only reason these flavours are out there is to attract kids and make the poison go down more easily.”