Trump wants to ban flavored e-cigarettes as concern grows about vaping

President Trump vaping

President Trump wants to take action against vaping products. 

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Wednesday stepped up the US government’s action against e-cigarette manufacturers, suggesting a ban of flavored vaping products. Health concerns over e-cigarettes have increased in recent months amid an outbreak of serious lung illnesses that may be related using e-cigarettes, or vaping.

This comes two days after the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Juul Labs over the company’s marketing practices that included telling students that e-cigs were “totally safe.”

The president’s administration will look to ban all non-tobacco flavored vaping products, according to a report from CBS News Wednesday. Bloomberg reported Trump called vaping a “problem.” 

“We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it,” the president said Wednesday in the White House. “We can’t allow people to get sick. People are dying.”

Alex Azar, health and human services secretary, says the FDA will plan the removal of all e-cigarette flavors with the exception of tobacco flavor, which can still be sold. According to the secretary, manufacturers of flavored vaping products would be able to file for FDA approval but remain off the market until approved. He says President Barack Obama’s administration allowed for companies to sell e-cigarettes in an “unregulated way” in hopes that smokers would choose non-combustible tobacco. 

“We’re seeing a surge in high school and middle school kids using these flavored products,” Azar said in a tweet from the official White House Twitter account Wednesday. “We got to stop it. We’re going to have a whole generation of children addicted to nicotine, and that’s just horrible.”

The Federal Trade Commission also is looking into Juul’s marketing. 

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened a probe on vaping after more than 150 people were hospitalized with lung issues

The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published Sept. 11 11:06 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:33 a.m. PT: Adds more background details. 6:24 p.m. PT: Adds White House tweet.