President Donald Trump plans to ban all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes in response to complaints by parents and increased reports of children being hospitalized after smoking them.
At a press conference at the White House, with Melanie Trump, Trump expressed concern about children being harmed.
“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,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar 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 department points to National Youth Tobacco Survey data, which shows that youth e-cigarette use is increasing, especially ones with non-tobacco flavors. More than a quarter of high school students used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days, and the overwhelming majority say they use fruit, menthol or mint flavors, according to the survey.
“We appreciate President Trump and Secretary Azar’s continued support of the agency’s efforts to prevent youth use of e-cigarettes, including the bold approach we’re announcing today,” Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said. “Once finalized, this compliance policy will serve as a powerful tool that the FDA can use to combat the troubling trend of youth e-cigarette use.”
The FDA expects to release news compliance policy rules in the near future, which detail enforcement procedures for violations of the new order.