The Food and Drug Administration is finalizing guidelines to take flavored e-cigarettes off the market, the Trump administration announced Wednesday. The move comes amid growing concern about the unknown health effects of vaping, and days after the sixth person in the U.S. died of a vaping-related lung disease.
“We have a problem in our country,” President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “It’s a new problem. It’s a problem nobody really thought about too much a few years ago and it’s called vaping, especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children.”
Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary, told reporters Wednesday that the FDA’s new guidelines are still a few weeks away. Once the guidelines are final, all flavors of e-cigarettes, except for tobacco, will be off the shelves.
“The Trump administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
The most recent stats, from last December, showed a spike in teen vaping. A survey found that in 2018, 37 percent of high-school seniors had tried vaping.