White House Bans Flavored E-Cigs Amidst Vaping Deaths

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The Surgeon General reported a year ago that e-cigarette use among young people qualifies as an epidemic.

While tobacco flavors will initially be exempt, manufacturers will still need to apply for FDA approval by May 2020 to continue to sell their products. Altria shares fell as much as 1.7% in NY trading on Wednesday.

"We agree that urgent action is needed and we look forward to reviewing the guidance", Steven Callahan, a spokesman for Altria, said.

But parents, teachers and health advocates have increasingly called for a crackdown on flavours, arguing that they are overwhelmingly to blame for the explosion in underage vaping by U.S. teens, particularly with small, discrete devices.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Thursday. Plus, Phillip Morris and Juul are now being sued for deceptive marketing tactics created to promote their products to minors.

"It has taken far too long to stop Juul and other e-cigarettes companies from targeting our nation's kids with sweet-flavored, nicotine-loaded products", said Matthew Myers, of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in a statement.

But even if flavored nicotine isn't the villain of this particular epidemic, it's still doing considerable harm by attracting kids to these products, and then offering something other than the harsh and unappetizing taste of straight tobacco to keep them coming back.

Around the US this summer, doctors have seen hundreds of cases where patients - often youthful, previously healthy adults - have shown up in the emergency room, suddenly stricken with risky respiratory damage. There are now more than 450 possible cases across 33 states. The severity of the cases vary.

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The links between that disease and vaping nicotine haven't been firmly established.

"Health Canada does have capacity and ability to declare a public health emergency and on that basis to take action quickly and that's something that should be considered at the present time". Regulators have said some users reported inhaling vapor of THC or CBD, another compound found in pot.

The president made his foray into e-cigarette policy after a recent surge in illnesses possibly linked to vaping has grabbed the attention of lawmakers, regulators and parents. Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, tweeted Tuesday that the FDA "should consider recalling e-cigarettes". "We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when effective". More often than not, when smokers quit, they invest in a vape to help ease them off of cigarettes.

Congress gave the FDA the authority to oversee tobacco in 2009.

Public officials are also running enquiry if the standard e-cigarettes are being tampered and have warned users not to tamper the device or buy products off the street. According to a statement from HHS, the FDA plans to make more details of the plan and its implementation public soon.

Health officials have called the trend an "epidemic", and they fear teenagers who vape will eventually start smoking.

"Vaping has become a very big business, as I understand it, but we can't allow people to get sick and allow our youth to be so affected", Trump said.

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