world

U.S. to ban flavored vaping products as lung disease cases surge

18 Comments
By Issam AHMED

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday announced it would soon ban flavored vaping products, amid a growing outbreak of severe lung disease linked to e-cigarette use that has claimed six lives.

Addressing reporters at the White House, the president said he and First Lady Melania Trump were worried as parents about the wave of illnesses that has sickened hundreds and left several teens in induced comas.

"We are both reading it," he said. "A lot of people are reading, people are dying of vaping," he added, vowing to act.

Trump was accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who responded to a question over the timeline of the ban by saying his agency would issue rules in the coming weeks.

Following the release of new guidance, "there will likely be about a 30-day delayed effective date," said Azar. "At that point, all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market."

The agency said in a release that non-tobacco flavors were being targeted for their appeal to adolescents, with preliminary data for 2019 showing that more than a quarter of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days and the overwhelming majority reported using fruit, menthol or mint flavors.

Tobacco flavors are seen as more legitimate product to help smokers quit tobacco-based cigarettes, but manufacturers will still need to apply for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval by May 2020 if they want to continue selling these products.

But Azar also tweeted that the ban could even be extended to include these flavors. "If data show kids migrating to tobacco-flavored products, we will do what's necessary to tackle continued youth use of these products," he wrote.

The news was a major blow to the burgeoning vaping industry, worth $10.2 billion globally in 2018, according to Grand View Research.

It comes as concern grows over how more than 450 people who reported recent use of e-cigarettes have fallen ill, with symptoms including breathing difficulty and chest pain before some were hospitalized and placed on ventilators.

Several teens across the country have been placed in medically induced comas including one whose doctors said he may require a lung transplant if he recovers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged people to cease vaping while the investigation is underway.

Federal authorities have yet to identify a single substance common to all cases, but New York's health department is focusing its probe on counterfeit cannabis cartridges containing vitamin E oil, which is harmful when inhaled.

E-cigarettes have been available in the US since 2006 and were widely considered a safer alternative to traditional smoking, even though experts had warned even before the current outbreak that it may take decades to learn about vaping's long-term effects.

It's also not clear why the US is so far alone in reporting such cases, and whether they are even new, or only being recognized now by medics after earlier misdiagnoses.

Whatever the case, wider public and political opinion appears to be hardening.

Trump's announcement received bipartisan support, including from his longtime Republican critic and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and several Democrats including Senate whip Dick Durbin, who commended the FDA for "doing its job."

The FDA on Monday warned market-leading e-cigarette maker JUUL to stop advertising itself as a less harmful alternative to smoking, saying the company had broken the law in its marketing.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


18 Comments
Login to comment

Lol Mango flavored Vapes get banned, but AR-15s need no regulation. Republicans are dumb.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I don't smoke e cigarettes, but this is kind of ridiculous. What's next, banning flavored vodka because it might be more appealing to kids? Not to mention the recent deaths have nothing to do with e cigarettes, and are actually caused by bootleg marijuana cartridges that contained Vitamin E Acetate. Not that this administration cares about facts.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

takeda-shingen: you are playing the tricks of gun advocates when whining there are more car deaths per year than mass shootings.

Vaping and gun control are 2 separate issues and shouldn’t be mixed or played against each other’s.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The only way is just stop smoking, whatever, period. Cold stone turkey. I'm on my 7th year.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Vaping and gun control are 2 separate issues and shouldn’t be mixed or played against each other’s.

I'm not playing them against each other. Simply pointing out the hypocrisy of the administration for banning flavored vapes over one death, whilst turning a blind eye to the 10s of thousands of gun death every year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

the president said he and First Lady Melania Trump were worried as parents about the wave of illnesses that has sickened hundreds and left several teens in induced comas.

Think how many will die without access to free healthcare.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Think how many will die without access to free healthcare.

Even with healthcare many more will die because even if they can afford it because they have money.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Even with healthcare many more will die because even if they can afford it because they have money.

What?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How many American with healthcare?

During 2016, the U.S. population overall was approximately 325 million, with 53 million people 65 years of age and over, covered by the federal Medicare program.

The 272 million non-institutional people under age 65 either obtained their coverage from employer-based (155 million) or non-employer based (90 million) sources, or were uninsured (27 million).

27 million uninsured.

Approximately 15 million military personnel received coverage through the Veteran's Administration and Military Health System.

During the year 2016, 91.2% of Americans had health insurance coverage.

By 2018 the number of uninsured is 30 million.

Since Trump came to office the number of uninsured has increased by 3 million.

Obamacare 2017 enrollment hits record, despite Trump's threat to repeal. Nearly 6.4 million Americans have selected Obamacare policies through the federal exchange for coverage starting Jan. 1.

The annual cost of gun homicides is $229 billion. Money which could be used to save lives instead of dealing with dead one.

More healthcare less guns.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Think how many will die without access to free healthcare.

Doctors, nurses, medical staff and medicine maker employees don't work for free, someone has to pay them.

this is kind of ridiculous. What's next, banning flavored vodka because it might be more appealing to kids? Not to mention the recent deaths have nothing to do with e cigarettes

You must have missed this:

 amid a growing outbreak of severe lung disease linked to e-cigarette use that has claimed six lives.

Addressing reporters at the White House, the president said he and First Lady Melania Trump were worried as parents about the wave of illnesses that has sickened hundreds and left several teens in induced comas.

And this:

Trump's announcement received bipartisan support, including from his longtime Republican critic and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and several Democrats including Senate whip Dick Durbin, who commended the FDA for "doing its job."

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Even with healthcare many more will die because even if they can afford it because they have money.

Having a hard time understanding the meaning of that sentence.

Many more people will die even with healthcare because they have money and can afford it? People are rich and will die?

Sorry, but I fail to understand??????

5 ( +5 / -0 )

some say it's the drink?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe the THC vapors?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wish there was more information about the six deaths mentioned in the first paragraph and then never again. Were they teens? What flavors did they use, etc.

I recently saw a Japanese TV commercial for this type of product which protrayed people who use them as ultra hip, creative thinkers etc. It was rather jarring as anything I’ve noticed in the English media in recent months has been people dying from the devices exploding in their faces or getting terribly sick or dying from lung disease.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even with healthcare many more will die because even if they can afford it because they have money.

This is just unacceptable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I suppose like the opioids, many middle class and rich class addicts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On one hand you have a lot of people who were able to get off tobacco when they started vaping.

On the other hand according to some studies yo're 10 times more likely to start smoking tobacco if you start vaping rather than not start vaping.

Instead of vaping or smoking, have sex. It's a lot healthier and more enjoyable.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is just unacceptable.

Why?

I suppose like the opioids, many middle class and rich class addicts.

Very true for once.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites