President Trump announced Wednesday he would look into banning all non-tobacco-flavored vaping devices, as reports mount of health problems associated with the practice.
“We can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump told reporters gathered in the Oval Office. “And I’m hearing it, and that’s how the first lady got involved. She’s got a son, together, that is a beautiful young man and she feels very, very strongly about it. She’s seen it. We’re both reading about it.”
In recent weeks, six U.S. deaths have been attributed to a lung disease associated with vaping, and officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have been investigating hundreds of other cases of the still-mysterious illness. On Tuesday, first lady Melania Trump voiced her displeasure with the increasing use of e-cigarettes among the young.
I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth. @HHSGov— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 9, 2019
The president, who noted that vaping is a “very profitable” industry, said that he hoped that Wednesday’s discussion would encourage parents to “be a lot tougher” with their children to keep them from using e-cigarettes.
“But people are dying with vaping, so we’re looking at it very closely, and if nothing else this is a [news] conference that is going to let people know about it because people are going to watch what we’re saying and parents are going to be a lot tougher with respect to their children,” Trump said.
Earlier Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement the agency intends to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which are popular among teenagers who don’t smoke. New FDA guidelines would likely take weeks to formalize.
“The Trump administration is making 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,” the statement read.
“A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it’s great. It’s really not wonderful,” Trump said.
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