Trump administration working to ban flavored e-cigarettes

President Donald Trump’s administration announced on Wednesday that it was working on releasing a policy that would ban the sale of non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the administration is finalizing the policy. He added that while the current plan does not include tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes they would “do what’s necessary” if “data show kids migrating” to them.

“I just announced with @POTUS and @FDACommissioner that we will be finalizing policies that will clear flavored e-cigarettes from the market. New provisional data show that youth use continues to rise rapidly, and we will not stand idly by,” Azar tweeted, adding: “While the current plan is to not include tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, if data show kids migrating to tobacco-flavored products, we will do what’s necessary to tackle continued youth use of these products.”

The ban would include mint and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, according to an HHS press release.

The announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating a string of lung illnesses believed to be associated with some forms of vaping. Some of the illnesses were linked to the vaping of THC products, according to CBS News.

The American Vaping Association criticized the announcement on Wednesday.

“Destroying thousands of small businesses and sending ex-smokers back to smoking will do nothing to stop drug dealers from selling contaminated THC cartridges,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in a statement. “A flavor ban will only lead to the creation of yet another multibillion-dollar black market that will operate with zero safety controls.”

In a press conference in the Oval Office, Trump discussed the decision to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

“We have a problem in our country. It’s a new problem. It’s a problem nobody really thought about too much a few years ago, and it’s called “vaping” — especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children. And they’re coming home and they’re saying, ‘Mom, I want to vape.’ And the parents don’t know too much about it.”

Trump also noted that his wife has a son of potentially-trying-vaping age.

“We can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so affected … And that’s how the First Lady got involved. I mean, she’s got a son—together—that is a beautiful, young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it.”

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).