Trumps’ administration announced an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products, amid a surge in both youth vaping and concern over its health effects.
Addressing reporters at the White House, the US president said he and 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.
New York’s top health official would convene an emergency meeting with the state’s public health council this week, to ban the products.
“Names like, ‘Bubblegum’, ‘Cotton Candy’, ‘Captain Crunch’,” are obviously targeted to young people and highly effective at targeting young people”, health officials told.
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.
The news was a major blow to the burgeoning vaping industry, worth $10.2 billion globally in 2018, according to 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.