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The Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday. The word comes as health officials across the country scramble to try to identify the cause of a growing number of reports of severe lung illnesses related to vaping.

The HHS secretary’s comments came after he met to discuss the issue of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes with President Trump and Ned Sharpless, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is one of the agencies leading the investigation into the outbreak, which has already been linked to six deaths.

“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.”

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He said it would take several weeks to develop the policy.

The announcement was applauded by the American Academy of Pediatrics, though the organization said it was long past time for the government to move on the issue.

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“Pediatricians have been raising alarm with increased urgency about the toll of e-cigarettes on their teenage patients, which ranges from wheezing and coughing to compromised lung function, asthma exacerbation and most recently, to seizures, respiratory distress and death,” said Dr. Kyle Yasuda, AAP president. “FDA must now follow through on its promise without delay.”

The American Lung Association echoed the message, saying e-cigarettes are unsafe.

To date the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified as many as 450 people who have suffered from the symptoms of the vaping-related illness. Many of the cases are young people; a number have ended up in hospital and have needed mechanical assistance to breathe.

It is not currently known what is behind the spate of illnesses, though many of those affected reported vaping THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, either alone or in combination with tobacco or other vaping products. FDA labs are testing more than 100 products looking for contaminants that might explain the lung damage doctors are seeing.

The statement made clear the administration’s interest is not simply related to stopping the vaping-related illness, but to combatting the rising popularity of vaping, which some critics believe is undermining efforts to reduce tobacco use.

Sharpless said if the flavored e-cigarette ban pushes young people towards consuming tobacco-flavored vaping products, the administration will take additional steps.

“The tremendous progress we’ve made in reducing youth tobacco use in the U.S. is jeopardized by this onslaught of e-cigarette use,” Sharpless said. “Nobody wants to see children becoming addicted to nicotine, and we will continue to use the full scope of our regulatory authority thoughtfully and thoroughly to tackle this mounting public health crisis.”

  • I’m 46 years old been smoking since I was twelve. I started Vapes two years ago and feel better than ever if the government bans pass they will create the biggest black market production in a long time . I will not stop vaping.

  • My opinion is that I have gave up smoking cigarettes with a vapor product. I feel and smell better now. How can the government actually wants to ban a product that is helping so many people. The government sends troops to other countries and expose them to very bad chemicals and they know it while they are doing it but a few people buying bad stuff going to effect every one so how is this right Trump

    • That’s exactly what I mean Jason, this is not about our government caring so much about us, if they did they would not be doing this. They only care that nobody is buying cigarettes. Sales have dropped and not just a little. They’ve drastically dropped. Think about it, if you are the cigarette company and you got millions of dollars on cigarette profits for, like forever. No one ever made anything quite like it, so you are pretty comfortable racking in all that money and it’s a lot. Then one day it stops and stops that abruptly aren’t you gonna take steps to stop it? To try to get that back?
      I say Boo hoo! Too bad too sad! Their product killed my mother, my brother countless family members, my friends, my coworkers, neighbors…nobody cared about them. Nobody banned cigarettes. No of course not, they can’t do that and they could care less, just like these that are mysteriously sick from vaping with things they shouldn’t be, they really don’t care, they are using this to ban it, make the public believe we have a crisis with vaping so everyone goes back to sucking on cancer sticks. Cigarette companies get their money again, insurance gets more claims again and the government gets their share, it’s a win win people! 🤮

    • Its all about money where the companies who did not invest into it are now hurting. Then you have the people who have been waiting for this to happen to corner the black market sales of this. I used to get really sick before and during smoking and for a longer time than most. After switching to vaping four or so years ago I have not been sick not one day. There are more health advantages to this than disadvantages. Plus we don’t have information on who these people are getting sick from it if they were making changes to how they were using it or using other things along with it for anyone in government to even form a basis for banning these other than this flavored bandwagon. Heck they will need to ban childrens toothpaste too which has more nicotine in it than an e-cig. Plus your average e-cig contains four chemicals one being nicotine and then there is a small amount of chocolate added to them too. Yeah it all boils down to its a healthier choice as a lower health risk with the reduction of 4,000 or so chemicals which ties into the trade war because of the fact that you can get these shipped to you without the taxation. In the end its just people making side deals to pay off corrupt politicians.

  • The goverment should dictate what vices the public engages in. Even with the known health effects of tobacco use it is not banned. The people should be allowed their Right to choose. I smoked tobacco 40 years and was able to quit thanks to vaping.

    • Almon Smith, so happy to hear that you were able to quit after 40 years! My husband too, quit just like that after 35 years of smoking. He was up to 3 packs a day. He vaped and that was it, he no longer needed that cigarette that was not only killing him but us, his family as well. I’m very happy to hear your success! I’m not happy about this ban, I do not vape, but I support a person’s right to choose. I’m so mad about this and have no where to turn. If my husband starts back on cigarettes again we will not only lose health wise but we will certainly fall back into the pits of poverty because who can afford them?

  • This is outrageous. Just because it’s flavored doesn’t mean anything about targeting youth. And it reduces secaund hand and banning it will send people back to getting lung cancer from ciggeretts also they are saying vaping. As a general when most reports were concerning and involving THC cartrages Wich are extreamly harmful. Also there is No reason to assume that it’s one and not the other with out more testing. To ban something so many Americans use. I think there may be something else to blame do you want something like the proabition? For normal Americans to turn to criminal acts the real problem lies on lax sales where they never check IDs. Wich is done almost everywhere now the legal age should be upped to 21 so all these 18 year old kids (barely out of school) are not out with theyre friends from a grade lower and getting them hooked normal 21 years and up do not associate with teens.

    • Big Pharma, specifically criminal MERCK, protecting its Keytruda profits, from issued patents combining vitamin E and cannabis that cures lung cancers is the real culprit.

      Phillip Morris’ JUUL and Reynolds Tobacco BLU are FDA approved devices, and gain another death causing gmo nicotine pushing MONOPOLY.

  • I think that they are more deaths and injuries caused from flavored alcohol. They are more under age getting alcohol then e cigarettes. Wake up Trump

  • My husband quit his 3 pack of cigarettes a day habit 15 years ago. He tried the e-cig with no tobacco or any other poisons. The day he first vaped was the last cigarette he ever had. Now he smoked 3 packs a day for 40 years and stopped just like that, thanks to e-cigs! And that’s it right there…he stopped buying 3 packs a day, that’s 12 dollars a pack, times 3 packs a day= $36, times 7 days a week=$1,764, times 4 to 5 times a month=$7,056 – $8,730, times 12 for a year=$ 104,760…and he is just one person that quit using e-cigs. The numbers are staggering and the cigarette companies are outraged. And guess who is helping the cigarette companies with this ban? YUP! No one will convince me it’s about anything other than the money. My husband has clear, healthy lungs, never had a problem. He uses the older model and he pays 5 dollars a week for a glycerol liquid made in the USA, with no lipids. it is just steam. He doesn’t smoke pot in it or use it in an unsafe way. Kimberly is right, if they are banning this and they don’t have any proof at all, it is a bunch of ASS’s assuming, not being educated and pushing us around because they can! I’m sick of this shit, I’m sick of our government, I’m sick to death of the joke we are to other countries…this is just the last straw. If the care so much, our government that is, (puke) then why aren’t they banning alcohol my father was an alcoholic and died because of it, nobody cared about him, alcohol kills so many and it’s proven, why aren’t they banning cigarettes, my mom died of lung and brain cancer, nobody cared about her. The number of deaths and suffering due to cigarettes is disgusting, why aren’t they banning, chewing tobacco, gambling??? I’ll tell you why…MONEY! The ones who put this ban on are not thinking about the citizens, they are thinking, how can we get people smoking again, sales are down, sickness is down and the insurance companies are upset, that is what they are thinking. If my husband starts smoking again they are going to be the blame for it!

    • I completely agree with Susan. This is an absolute outrage! I’ve been vaping for over 10 years and never had a problem. These products aren’t intended for children for God’s sake! The trump administration wants to ban flavors so it’s less appealing to children, well underage people aren’t allowed to purchase it! Most of these so called “vape” related illnesses are caused by these people mixing chemicals in with their vape juices. The vape juices also have warning labels the same as cigarettes and say only 18-21 or older!

    • Jill and all of you as outraged as I am, you are all so right! This is maddening. I am so angry I don’t even know what to do with it. There has got to be some kind of recourse to their actions. Why are they allowed to just do this. My city alone has about 13, maybe more vape stores that are already closing! This is as heartbreaking as it is evil. How can they declare a ban on all vape throughout the state? We have no rights? But the cigarette companies do? My female cousins all grew up in households that smoke, they did not, they all have breast cancer, but I guess that’s ok, why? Why is that ok? Oh wait because we know for a fact second hand smoke kills. But they’re gonna keep right on selling it. Why? Because the government is in bed with the cigarette companies. They would never ban them. Because they would not have their pockets lined that’s why? They would never ban cigarettes, nope! But they are banning vape because vapes are putting cigarette companies out of business that’s why and they are all scared that the money train is gonna stop. There’s got to be something we can do. Don’t we have rights?

    • The biggest cause of these Emergency Vape bans is due to the states dependence on MSA(Master Settlement Agreement) payouts from Big Tobacco companies. The amount of money the states are paid depend on the number of cigarettes sold. Many states, including the ones that are banning vaping, took out tobacco bonds which gave them advance payments which is money they are required to recoup from the increased (they hoped) sale of cigarettes. That did not happen thanks to vaping and cigarette sales have dropped drastically over the past 10 years vaping has been around which is causing many states to default on the advanced money they were paid years ago due to the rapid drop in cigarette sales. It cannot be a coincidence that the states that have defaulted the worst are also the ones banning vaping in their states but that is exactly whats currently happening. These states are using these THC illnesses to their benefit to try and destroy THE INDUSTRY (That being vaping) that is causing them to lose billions in MSA payments. If you look up “states owed the most from MSA payments?” on google you will find maps with states colored in RED who are owed the most MSA money and these are the states that have enacted Vape bans or are currently trying to enact them…#MSABLOODMONEY

  • The problem I have with all of this is that if these young kids are gonna smoke anything they are going to get it somehow someway.. second of all banning just flavors isn’t gonna stop anything if your going to ban ecigs it should be all ecigs and vape mods not just flavors .. and while they are in the mood to be banning things why don’t they ban selling alcohol to anyone cause that cause people to kill thousands of people all the time from drunk driving …. just some things they should think about …. people being drunks is what I would worry more about then ecigs and cigs … and also the gambling addiction that the state has caused with all of the machines they have on every block because all the money it makes the state can put it in their pockets

  • I’m 31 and I’ve been vaping for a little over a year. I love the flavored vape juices, it’s helped me be cigarette free. I’ve never had any problems and I can actually breathe better. The only reason why these teens are getting sick is because they are using black market thc pods or modifying the pods. They’re always going to find a way to get the pods, so really what this will do is push them more towards the black market pods and make it harder for people of age to get legal pods or vape juice. This law is ridiculous, just going to cause more deaths. I for one will probably go back to smoking cigarettes if they ban flavored vape juices, because the tobacco flavored juices taste like burnt popcorn.

  • Older people like different flavors when it comes to vaping. Nobody has done anything about teen smoking over the years because big tobacco has no problem paying for”advertising against youth smoking”. Which absolutely doesn’t work. So would it help if vaping companies started making big payment for the same reason. What government has to understand is, these kids are getting sick from black market ecigs. Not from reputable vape companies. That is where it should start. Too many people are being helped by vaping. If anything must be done. Eliminate several flavors that seem to attract young kids. But, at least give us vapors a better breathing life.

  • You may as well ban cigarettes too because teens wrap marijuana in cigarettes also. They tamper with everything!

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