The Trump administration is reportedly moving ahead with plans to ban all flavored vaping products other than those with tobacco and menthol flavors.
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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the plan in September in response to a wave of lung injuries officials have linked to e-cigarette use. As of Tuesday, 1,888 cases had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 37 deaths in 24 states.
President Trump called vaping “very dangerous” in September, expressing concern about underage use of e-cigs.
“We’re going to have some very strong rules, regulations,” he said.
About 570,000 middle school students and 3.05 million high school students were e-cigarette users as of 2018. The CDC has said many people who use e-cigs also smoke cigarettes and there is some evidence that young people who vape will be more likely to smoke in the future.
While some state and local lawmakers across the country have moved to ban flavored e-cigarette products, Trump’s call for a total ban of all flavored vapes drew criticism from some who said it was overreaching by including flavors like mint and menthol that are less popular with underage users.
Trump said on Friday that he was nominating Dr. Stephen Hahn to lead the FDA.
Azar announced that Dr. Ned Sharplessacting, the acting FDA commissioner, will be returning to his role as director of the National Cancer Institute, saying Sharpless had reached the 210-day maximum that anyone can serve in an “acting” role. In the meantime, Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, will head the agency.