President Trump Calls for Ban on Flavored e-Cigarettes
The Trump administration is currently planning to ban flavored e-cigarettes to prevent youth vaping. E-cigarettes seem to have caused an outbreak of lung disease that has sickened hundreds and killed others. Naturally, federal health officials are calling for greater measures to prevent kids from Juuling.
The Food and Drug Administration is developing guidelines that will remove all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes within 30 days of its enactment. Flavors may be reintroduced later on, but companies will be required to submit an application and receive FDA approval to do so.
Juul has been heavily criticized because they have marketed flavors, such as crème and mango, that some say intentionally attract young people.
The Trump administration has said that they plan to eliminate the marketing of flavored e-cigarettes in response to what is being described as an epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. A Juul company spokesperson talked to CNBC about the ban, agreeing with the need for action on flavored products and stating their intentions to comply with the FDA policy when it becomes effective.
Trump administration representatives said they want to keep tobacco-flavored products on the market, citing that adults may use them to quit smoking. The FDA does seem to view e-cigarettes as a better alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, but the jump in youths using these products is causing them to rethink this.
Outbreak of Vaping Illnesses
A number of cities and states have moved to enact vaping bans. This comes in response to the steady increase in the reported number of diseases and deaths caused by vaping. As of the end of October 2019, there were 1,888 cases of lung injury linked to e-cigarettes or vaping products. There were also thirty-seven deaths at that time.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25% of high school students used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days. The most popular flavors among young people tended to be fruit and menthol or mint, according to CDC findings. Many regulators have blamed the vaping epidemic solely on Juul, which is by far the largest manufacturer of e-cigarette and vaping devices.
The E-Cigarette Ban
San Francisco and Boulder Colorado have banned flavored e-cigarettes, as has Michigan. Michael Bloomberg has pledged $160 million to enact these restrictions in other places around the country. The FDA was set to review e-cigarettes, but last summer, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb pushed the review until 2022. Now, the FDA is proposing to move up its review of flavored products to this year.
LaVito, Angelica. “Trump administration readies ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid outbreak of vaping-related deaths.” CNBC, September 11, 2019. Accessed November 6, 2019.
CDC. “Youth and Tobacco Use.” February 28, 2019. Accessed November 6, 2019.
CDC. “Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with e-Cigarette Use or Vaping.” November 5, 2019. Accessed November 6, 2019.