On Wednesday, September 11, the Trump Administration announced plans for a major move that would ban e-cigarettes. The news — which was announced by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar — comes following the string of deaths that have reportedly been vaping-related.
According to Azar, the Food and Drug Administration is finalizing plan regarding non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes like mint, menthol, mango, creme, and more which have been blamed for hooking teenagers to tobacco.
“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Azar, via CNBC. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
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.
— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) September 11, 2019
Earlier this month, Michigan became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. New York, Massachusetts, and California are also reportedly considering statewide measures. New Jersey is also planning to ban all electronic smoking devices.
As for the tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, Azar said that the administration plans to keep them on the market for adults who are using e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking.
“If we find that children start surging into tobacco flavored e-cigarettes or if we find marketing practices that target children and try to attract them into tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, we will engage in enforcement actions there also,” Azar said.
In recent weeks, deaths due to vaping-related illnesses have been reported in Illinois, Kansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon. Approximately 500 cases of vaping-related illnesses have been reported by hospitals and health officials due to vaping both flavored-tobacco and THC or cannabis products.
As for when the ban could go into place if it is passed, an exact timeline has yet to be determined.