The Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday. The word comes as health officials across the country scramble to try to identify the cause of a growing number of reports of severe lung illnesses related to vaping.

The HHS secretary’s comments came after he met to discuss the issue of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes with President Trump and Ned Sharpless, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is one of the agencies leading the investigation into the outbreak, which has already been linked to six deaths.

“The Trump administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”

advertisement

He said it would take several weeks to develop the policy.

The announcement was applauded by the American Academy of Pediatrics, though the organization said it was long past time for the government to move on the issue.

“Pediatricians have been raising alarm with increased urgency about the toll of e-cigarettes on their teenage patients, which ranges from wheezing and coughing to compromised lung function, asthma exacerbation and most recently, to seizures, respiratory distress and death,” said Dr. Kyle Yasuda, AAP president. “FDA must now follow through on its promise without delay.”

The American Lung Association echoed the message, saying e-cigarettes are unsafe.

To date the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified as many as 450 people who have suffered from the symptoms of the vaping-related illness. Many of the cases are young people; a number have ended up in hospital and have needed mechanical assistance to breathe.

It is not currently known what is behind the spate of illnesses, though many of those affected reported vaping THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, either alone or in combination with tobacco or other vaping products. FDA labs are testing more than 100 products looking for contaminants that might explain the lung damage doctors are seeing.

The statement made clear the administration’s interest is not simply related to stopping the vaping-related illness, but to combatting the rising popularity of vaping, which some critics believe is undermining efforts to reduce tobacco use.

Sharpless said if the flavored e-cigarette ban pushes young people towards consuming tobacco-flavored vaping products, the administration will take additional steps.

“The tremendous progress we’ve made in reducing youth tobacco use in the U.S. is jeopardized by this onslaught of e-cigarette use,” Sharpless said. “Nobody wants to see children becoming addicted to nicotine, and we will continue to use the full scope of our regulatory authority thoughtfully and thoroughly to tackle this mounting public health crisis.”

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • We SHOULD NOT get punished for the actions of a few “little sheeits”… As you said kids do what kids do. It is a FACT that if they ban this items they will NOT GO AWAY. They will however DEFINITELY become completely unchecked, which will result in more sickness and most likely many more deaths,

    A “banning” will be like “Christmas morning” for the black marketers.. Plain and simple, its obvious to me anyways, that this is DEFINITE.

    Why? because people like myself WILL NEVER STOP VAPING until WE decide, PERIOD…

    I hate to say this AND KNOW that it is the ONLY choice at this point – But the seemingly only option is to PUNISH THE KIDS PARENTS.. If a 16 (for example of an age) is vaping 1/3 times I would say its nearly impossible their parents dont know, or dont have a clue.

    SO SIMPLY PUT –

    1st offense police take their vapes + parents are notified.

    2nd offense, PARENTS ARE FINED.

    3rd offense kids are sent before. Judge, and potentially go to juvenile hall.

    I dont want to hear that this is too strict because if it will result in us adults NOT LOOSING WHAT WE HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE!!! THEN IT MUST BE DONE..

  • So i do not smoke anything at all. But should you not treat this like you do regular cigarettes. Make it where you have to be a certain age in order to buy any of the products for these just like cigarettes or ban cigarettes as well. why should others who are old enough to make the choice themselves have to suffer because kids who should not be smoking to begin with and not have the product sold to them make the stupid choice to buy things off the street and get sick.

    • Yes Lisa, you’re absolutely 100% correct. All this over some kids doing what they are not supposed to be doing. Kids drink, have sex, smoke cigarettes, play games they are not supposed to. Nothing else is banned, they are just banning vape because vape has made the cigarette sales drop, it’s even made the alcohol sales drop for some strange reason and the government and the insurance companies and for sure the cigarette companies are all upset because nobody is making what they used to make with cigarette sales. So if they ban vapes under the false pretense that they care about our health (flipping joke! puke) they pull them off the market so everyone goes back to smoking. And it really is simple to figure out. If they were truly concerned and that is why they banned the vapes, then why haven’t they banned cigarettes, which is why deadlier than vapes could ever be. When a cigarette is burning, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer (carcinogenic). They are not fooling anyone by saying they are concerned for our health. And I like you Lisa, do not smoke or vape or any of it…and I agree with you, kids should not have access, but it isn’t even about the kids. All of this is LIES! They are lying to us!

  • I started smoking CIGARETTES when I was 9 YEARS OLD and was heavily ADDICTED to them till I was 16 years old finding out my taste buds have went bad, my sense of smell was shit, my lungs were bad that I started to develop asthma, I was coughing alot way more than I should’ve been. It changed my body in a very bad fucking way. I’ve been vaping since I stopped and I have never felt more healthier now than I ever had before. I went to my Dr recently and he was very Impressed with how my health is now! My lungs are completely clear now!! I can smell and taste better and I have way more energy and motivation due to vaping. Please don’t let flavors get banned!!! #BAN CIGARETTES AND ALCOHOL THAT HAVE BEEN KILLING FOR CENTURIES

  • After 30+ years of smoking cigs I discovered e-cigs. I have never craved nor can I stand the smell of traditional cigs since then. I am worried about the ability of purchasing the flavored e-liquid I use. I am currently stocking up on my supplies. I live in Ca. and can easily see a ban like this happening. Please contact your legislators and let them know that this ban is unacceptable

  • I have teenage grandkids and they all say they’re just going to go back to smoking! I quit cigarettes after 40 years and feel so much better! My over all health has improved 75%.
    So less than 500 people were “MAYBE” effected by e-cigarettes.
    So band them all so everyone starts smoking again and the government and the health industry can start making there money back! WHAT ABOUT ALLLLL THE YUMMY FLAVORS OF ALCOHOL NOW! of course they don’t mess with that it’s making them money. The rehab for alcoholism the jails for drunk driving the minors drinking and driving killing people. The health care is making a killing off of cigarettes and alcohol so let’s get into e-cigarettes where there not making us sick anymore. They say they got the number of teen smokers down WELL BECAUSE THEY WENT TO VAPS!! so that’s just going to go back up!! This whole thing is about money NOT TEENS!!! Smh

    • I’ve been vaping for almost ten years. Never had a sickness, not till the thc cartridges played a part. Maybe look into that instead of taking away what helped me stop smoking the nasty ciggarettes in the first place! Stop trying to control what little relief we have because u want more money back into ur stupid tobacco pockets.. damn idiots int opinion.

Your daily dose of news in health and medicine

Privacy Policy