US government plans ban on flavoured e-cigarettes

US government plans ban on flavoured e-cigarettes

The president this week announced plans to ban non-tobacco-flavored electronic cigarette products in what is perhaps his first sensible measure in three years.

The president criticized vaping "especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children" during an Oval Office meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

"We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth", Azar said, echoing a Monday tweet by First Lady Melania Trump. "Moreover, if we see a migration to tobacco-flavored products by kids, we will take additional steps to address youth use of these products", Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless, said in a statement.

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.

Federal authorities have yet to identify a single substance common to all cases, but New York's health department is focusing its probe on counterfeit cannabis cartridges containing vitamin E oil, which is harmful when inhaled. The FDA's upcoming policy, which is expected to be announced in "coming weeks, ' will establish the 'enforcement policy" related to the sale of the flavored vaping products that lack premarket authorization. More often than not, when smokers quit, they invest in a vape to help ease them off of cigarettes. Almost 80% of teens who reported vaping said they tried flavors first. He was moving instead to limit the sales of e-cigarettes at convenience stores and other retail outlets to make them harder for teens to get. More than 450 people have been hospitalized with serious respiratory distress and six people have died, including a 55-year-old man in Los Angeles County. According to preliminary findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than a quarter of high school students were current e-cig users in 2019, and the majority of youth e-cig users prefer fruit and mint flavored products.

Azar said the FDA would issue guidance in coming weeks meant to clamp down on the sale of nearly all flavored vaping products. The jarring rate at which teens have adopted devices like the compact, easy-to-hide one made by Juul Labs Inc. has made health officials in Washington and around the country snap to attention.

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".

That said, it's unclear why these cases have only been reported in the United States, and whether they are even new, or only being recognized after earlier misdiagnoses.

Five million children are using e-cigarette products, Azar said, calling it an "alarming" trend.

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

Those with pre-existing lung or breathing conditions are also at a greater risk: if you have asthma or a related condition, the effects of secondhand vaping may be heightened.



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