Donald Trump is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes in the wake of six vape-related deaths.
On Wednesday, Trump said the federal government plans to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes after parents, politicians, and health officials voiced their concern.
The announcement came as a surprise and could disrupt the multi-billion dollar vaping industry that has profited off the sale of flavored nicotine formulas like ‘cotton candy,’ ‘mango,’ and ‘birthday cake.’
Trump, whose 13-year-old son Barron reportedly influenced his decision, said: ‘We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected’ during an Oval Office meeting alongside Melania Trump.
Melania tweeted her concern regarding the rising popularity of vaping on Wednesday and the president said: ‘I mean, she’s got a son – together – that is a beautiful, young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it.’
According to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the US Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to ban all e-cigarette flavors except for tobacco.
Wednesday’s announcement comes after US health officials announced they are investigating hundreds of serious breathing illnesses in people who vape or use e-cigarettes. Approximately 450 cases have been identified in 33 state, including six deaths.Pregnant mum stabbed to death in bed during romantic family break
Officials have not yet identified a single ingredient, device, or additive in the e-cigarettes that can be linked to the illnesses, however, many of the cases involved vaping marijuana.
The ban announced by Trump’s administration would only apply to nicotine vaping products because nicotine is regulated by the FDA, while marijuana is still illegal on a federal level.
Federal health officials have called the uptick in vaping an ‘epidemic’ after preliminary data showed that more than one in four high school students reported vaping this year, compared to one in five students in 2018.
Donald Trump announced a plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes and vape flavors (Picture: AP/ SWNS)
Flavors appear to be an important factor in underage teens who chose the product. According to government surveys, over 80 percent of underage teens say the chose their e-cigarette because it ‘comes in flabors I like.’
The restriction is seen as a strong blow to companies like Juul, which is based in San Francisco and sells flavors that taste like fruits, deserts, and mint.
A Juul spokesman said the company ‘strongly’ agreed with the need for ‘aggressive’ action on flavors, adding ‘We will fully comply with the Final FDA policy when effective.’