President Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday, Sept. 11, his administration is proposing to ban the myriad of flavors used in e-cigarettes to combat the recent upsurge in underage vaping.
Vaping, which refers to smoking an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or using other vaping devices, has become a trendy pastime among many young people.
President Trump spoke about the hazards of vaping for young people.
“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,” President Trump.
Then he continued, “And they’re coming home and they’re saying, ‘Mom I want to vape.’ And the parents don’t know too much about it and nobody knows too much about it but they do know it’s causing a lot of problems,” said President Trump, who added that the Trump administration is “going to have to do something about it.”
Speaking to the White House press in the Oval Office, the president said he wants parents to know more the dangers of vaping.
“One of the reasons we’re meeting today is to let you know that it’s out there and we want to have parents understand that we’re studying it very carefully. It’s again, very new, and potentially very bad,” said President Trump.
“There have been deaths and there have been a lot of other problems,” continued the president, adding that while “people think it’s an easy solution to cigarettes,” vaping has its own risks.
“Not only is it a problem overall but really specifically with respect to children. We’re getting some stories that we don’t want to hear and we may very well have to do something very, very strong about it.”
First Lady Melania Trump sounded the alarm about vaping dangers in a twitter message on Sept. 9, saying, “I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children.”
“We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth,” continued Melania Trump.
I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth. @HHSGov
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 9, 2019
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar attested to the need to enforce a regulation to protect young people from the dangers of vaping.
“Currently about 8 million adults use these cigarettes but 5 million children are using e-cigarettes,” said Azar, who stated that vaping “is exceptionally harmful to our children.”
“An entire generation of children risk becoming addicted to nicotine because of the attractiveness, appeal ability, and availability of these vaping products,” Azar told White House reporters.
Azar stated that with the president’s support, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to complete “a guidance document that would commence enforcement to require that all flavors other than tobacco flavor would be removed from the market.”
Vaping-related lung disease claimed six lives recently. But the number of vaping-related serious breathing or lung disease had swelled to over 450 cases in 33 states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking people to stop vaping during the epidemic.
“We want to get to the bottom of a very unusual situation. It’s so new and it’s become so big so fast and it could be a potential very severe problem,” said President Trump.
E-cigarettes have on the market for over a decade. However, reports of vaping-related lung disease only burgeoned this year.
Since 2016, the FDA holds the authority to ban vaping flavors but it has resisted calls to do that.
Since then parents, politicians, and health activists have been calling for a clampdown on flavors, blaming the flavors for the recent increase in underage vaping by U.S. young people.
“So Commissioner, you know what to do, you know what to do, and it’s something that frankly should have been looked into a few years ago in a much more advanced way,” but “it wasn’t,” said President Trump emphatically.
The ban proposal will only apply to nicotine vaping products that are regulated by the FDA.
However, it would still take a few weeks to articulate the proposed flavor bans and then time for public response before the restrictions can take effect.