Today Donald Trump announced plans to finalize a ban on the flavored e-cigarette products. This comes after an outbreak of a vaping-related illness that has sickened 450 people and caused 6 deaths nationwide.
“We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump said at his Oval Office appearance alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. “People are dying from vaping, so we’re looking at it very closely.”
Azar said the products could be pulled from the market as early as the next couple of months.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been pushing the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, as well as impose age restrictions and other curbs on the product. According to Politico, the Trump Administration’s new rule will also require e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their products to the FDA for review by Spring 2020:
Manufacturers will have to show the Food and Drug Administration that their products don’t pose a public health threat. They will also need to demonstrate why any flavored products should stay on the market. E-cigarette manufacturers that submit products for review can keep their products on the market for a year while the FDA evaluates them.
This measure comes on the heels of other bans on e-cigarettes that have passed at state and city levels. NBC reports that last week Michigan became the first state to completely prohibit both online and in-store sales of e-cigarettes. Earlier in June, San Francisco was the first city to impose a similar ban.
While the push to crackdown on e-cigarettes does seem to have bi-partisan support, Azar found a way to politicize the news conference by blaming former President Barack Obama saying “the Obama administration allowed these products to go onto the market in an unregulated way.”