Trump administration bans all flavored e-cigarettes except menthol to inspect vaping among youth.
The ban follows a statement made by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, December 31, that these flavors will be taken off the shelves”for a period of time”, and checked for safety.
The FDA intends to bring this ban. The rule aims to”strike the ideal public health equilibrium” by targeting products widely used by children while allowing vaping as a”potential off-ramp” for adults who want to quit smoking, according to the US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, reports USA Today. If the products pass the safety tests, they will find their way back into the current market, Trump said at a New Year’s Eve news conference during a party at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
“We think we are going to get back in the market very, very quickly. We’ve got a very big industry. We are going to take care of the market,” he said.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that e-cigarette, or vaping, products are linked to most of the lung-injury instances – responsible for sending over 2,500 people to the hospital.
Further, users can rely on tank systems, which allow them to mix their own nicotine liquids, say reports. As tank systems are popular among teenagers, the government hopes this will keep them away.
Users can rely on tank systems, which allow users to mix their own nicotine liquids, say reports. Trump had previously committed to announce a complete ban on these types of flavored vaping products, including menthol. But excluding menthol from the list could indicate that the Trump government is taking a softer stand on the vaping industry, whose products are linked to 55 deaths in 2019, according to CDC. The vaping businesses have been lobbying with the government, making a case that e-cigarettes can help people stop cigarette smoking.
They say, 35% of cigarettes sold are menthol brands and carrying menthol flavors out there would make it difficult for those looking to quit smoking. And of course, banning these products will put a good deal of these people out of business. This isn’t the first time the industries have been able to sway decisions. The FDA first sought to prohibit sales of flavors during the Obama administration, but pressure from tobacco companies and retail stores, stalled the ban.
Will the announcement that is new suppress vaping among youth?
Favored vaping is hugely popular among the younger generation. According to CDC, more than one in four high school students in the country use e-cigarettes. Fruit, menthol and mint flavors are the most wanted flavors, with more than 60% of teens who vaped stating they used them. What’s worrying is that nicotine present in these products could harm the developing brain, which lasts until about the age of 25, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So, the FDA formally raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products such as cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and vaping products that contain nicotine from 18 to 21, last month. “Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a positive step, but it’s not a substitute for banning the flavored e-cigarettes that are luring and addicting our kids” says Matthew L Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in a statement.
But if menthol becomes excluded, public health experts fear that teenagers would change to menthol instead of quit vaping. “Flavors attract kids, and menthol is a flavor. It actually helps to numb the senses and makes the poison go down easier,” Erika Sward, a spokeswoman for the American Lung Association, told the New York Times.