U.S. to ban flavored vaping products as lung disease cases surge

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The plan is to ban all non-tobacco flavored vaping products.

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.

E-cigarettes have been available in the U.S. since 2006 and were widely considered a safer alternative to traditional smoking, even though experts had warned even before the current wave of illnesses that it may take decades to learn about vaping's long-term effects. "And we can't have our youth be so affected".

President Donald Trump called vaping a "problem" and his health secretary said the government would force companies to remove flavored vaping products from the market after reports of hundreds of USA cases of a mysterious illness related to e-cigarette devices.

No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified, though many cases involve marijuana vaping. People have died", Mr. Trump said Wednesday, adding "But we can't allow people to get sick.

The FDA has had the authority to ban vaping flavors since 2016, but has previously resisted calls to take that step. Agency officials instead said they were studying whether flavors could help people stop smoking traditional cigarettes.

The FDA has become increasingly assertive against the sector over misleading advertising and on Monday accused market-leading e-cigarette maker JUUL of breaking the law, warning it to cease presenting itself as less harmful than smoking.

But federal health officials said that preliminary data shows more than one in four high school students reported vaping this year, compared with one in five students in 2018.

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The announcement comes after parents, health officials and politicians have called for federal action to stem a surge in vaping.

"It'll take several weeks for us to put out the final guidance that will announce all the parameters around the enforcement policy, and then there will likely be about a 30-day delay to effective date, as is customary", Azar said. The vast majority of underage teens consumed fruit, menthol or mint flavors.

Addressing reporters at the White House, the president said that both he and First Lady Melania Trump were anxious as parents of a teenage son about an outbreak of severe lung disease that has killed six people and sickened hundreds.

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.

The CEO of Juul, the biggest e-cigarette company in the US, spoke with "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil in August.

During 2015-2017, almost 2,035 e-cigarettes have exploded or caused burns in the United States alone. States like California, Massachusetts and NY are planning to ban e-cigarettes, while MI and San Francisco have already barred sale of vaping products.

Public officials are also running enquiry if the standard e-cigarettes are being tampered and have warned users not to tamper the device or buy products off the street.

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