An announcement which will take certain e-cigarette flavors off the US market is coming soon, President Donald Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday.”We’re getting to protect our families, we’re getting to protect our youngsters and we’re getting to protect the industry,” Trump said, adding some products could “very quickly” return to the market.
Multiple outlets reported Tuesday the US Food and Drug Administration plans to announce a ban on the sale of cartridge-based e-cigarette flavors aside from tobacco and menthol later in the week. The plan was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing people conversant in the matter.
An FDA spokeswoman told CNN the agency had no comment or information to share. The White House didn’t answer CNN’s request for comment. Citing administration officials, the NY Times reported the sales ban wouldn’t apply to tank vaping systems common in vape shops.
Cartridge-based e-cigarettes are popular among underage users. Juul, the leading e-cigarette maker, has previously stopped selling flavors including mint, mango, creme, and cucumber.
Trump administration officials announced in September the FDA would attempt to curb a youth vaping epidemic by stripping all flavors except tobacco from the market. US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at the time that flavored-product manufacturers would even have the chance to file for approval from the FDA, but their products would be off the market until approved.
Questions and criticism have followed since then.
Vaping advocates say a flavor sales ban would curtail some adult smokers’ efforts to quit, put small vaping companies out of business and eliminate jobs. A Trump campaign adviser previously told CNN that Trump’s political aides have warned him that such a ban might not be helpful together with his base which he should reconsider.
Studies published within the medical journal JAMA in November found that almost 60% of high school students who vape use Juul, the market leader, and mint was the foremost popular flavor among US 10th and 12th graders.
An estimated 2.4 million high school and secondary school students use flavored e-cigarettes, one among the studies found. The fruit was the foremost commonly reported flavor category, at 66.1% for top school and 67.7% for secondary school, followed by menthol or mint at 57.3% for top school and 31.1% for secondary school.
In a statement on Tuesday, Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the reported Trump administration policy “falls woefully in need of the bold action the Administration promised.”
“By leaving menthol-flavored e-cigarettes widely available and totally exempting liquid flavored products, this policy won’t stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic. it’s a capitulation to both Juul and vape shops and provides a green light to the e-cigarette industry to still target and addict kids with flavored products,” Myers’ statement said partially.