Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarette products across the US

Henrietta Brewer
September 13, 2019

VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports the Trump administration is preparing a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. But Thomsen says it's become such a huge problem that they've laid triple the amount of fines in one year alone: $305 if you're caught vaping or smoking where you're not supposed to and $490 if you're caught sharing or supplying.

Faced with a worsening epidemic of teenage vaping and a mysterious illness stalking users of cigarette alternatives, the Trump administration promised to ratchet it up its oversight of a burgeoning but increasingly troubled industry.

No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified, although many cases involve marijuana vaping devices. People have died", Mr. Trump said Wednesday, adding "But we can't allow people to get sick. A recent increase in underage vaping is among the reasons for the ban, pending an FDA examination of the health effects, Azar said. Agency officials instead said they were studying if flavors could help smokers quit traditional cigarettes.

With more teens than ever now vaping, it seems like the younger folks who are more at risk.

Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes don't "burn".

Several teens across the country have been placed in medically-induced comas, including one whose doctors said he may require a lung transplant if he recovers. Federal health officials have called the trend an "epidemic", and they fear teenagers who vape will eventually start smoking.

The agency said in a release that non-tobacco flavors were being targeted for their youth appeal, with preliminary data for 2019 showing that more than a quarter of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. "We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when effective".

But he said that if children use tobacco flavored products, "we will take enforcement action there also".

Scott Gottlieb, who stepped down as FDA commissioner in April, said in a tweet that Juul bore particular responsibility for forcing the administration's hand.

Market research shows 14 million adults in the USA use e-cigarettes.

During 2015-2017, almost 2,035 e-cigarettes have exploded or caused burns in the United States alone.

E-cigarette manufacturers, including the popular brand Juul, will have to submit formal applications for approval to once again sell their flavors.

"In light of this guidance, and as investigations continue into reported illnesses and deaths, I urge the agencies to strongly consider whether these devices meet the recall classification standards of unsafe products that predictably cause serious or temporary health problems", Romney wrote, adding federal health agencies should "consider additional actions to strengthen public education efforts, review tobacco product standards, and evaluate possible modifications to e-cigarette devices".

The news was a major blow to the burgeoning vaping industry, worth $10.2 billion globally in 2018, according to Grand View Research.

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