President Trump on Wednesday announced the White House would be moving forward with a ban on non-tobacco-flavored vape products. The FDA is also planning to ban menthol cigarettes.
Over the past three months, more than 450 people throughout the country have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness associated with the use of nicotine and THC vape products. At least six people have died.
Researchers have yet to pinpoint the cause of “vape lung,” but have discovered toxic chemicals in some products and have identified a proliferation of oil-carrying immune cells inside patients’ lungs.
“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,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “If we find that children start surging into tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes or if we find marketing practices that target children, we’ll engage in enforcement actions there also.”
According to the FDA, more than 25% of high school students have used e-cigarettes this year.
“We must act swiftly against flavored e-cigarette products that are especially attractive to children,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless.
“The tremendous progress we’ve made in reducing youth tobacco use in the US is jeopardized by this onslaught of e-cigarette use. 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.”
Adam Hergenreder, an 18-year-old athlete in Illinois, was hospitalized after using e-cigarettes for about 18 months. Doctors say his lungs are now similar to those of a 70-year-old man.
“I was a varsity wrestler before this and I might not ever be able to wrestle because that’s a very physical sport and my lungs might not be able to hold that exertion…It’s sad,” he said. “If I had known what it was doing to my body, I would have never even touched it.”
Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer imposed a six-month ban on the sale of non-tobacco-flavored vape products in the interest of protecting children’s health.
Author’s Note: Getting rid of the sweet and fruity flavors will certainly help dissuade teens from smoking, but unfortunately some will still vape and will become addicted to nicotine.
It will be interesting to see if Big Tobacco is behind the attacks on vaping, and which industry will come out on top (maybe they will destroy each other).
Editor’s Note: Spoke with a gentleman in NY who ran a chain of vape stores. He said they were closing down because the assaults from the tobacco industry were killing them.
I’m not sure that I’m unhappy about that. A new easier way for kids to become addicted to a powerful drug is not really something I’m in favor of.
My philosophy is that adults should be able to do whatever they want, drugs, prostitution, gambling whatever as long as they are ADULTS. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a way to make this legal for adults without minors getting addicted or damaged before they are old enough to make adult decisions. This latter situation is more important to me, so I’m in favor of keeping vices illegal.
Change my mind…