WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – After the outbreak of vaping-related illness resulting in at least six deaths, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday his administration is working on new rules to stop of the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
“We can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump said in the Oval Office alongside U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. “People are dying with vaping so we’re looking at it very closely.”
Azar said in about two months, companies will have to remove flavored vaping products from store shelves.
To get back in front of customers, they will have to apply for FDA approval.
“It has to be in the public health interest for us to approve it to be on the market,” Azar said. “The Obama Administration had allowed them to be on the market even though, technically under law, they have to come in and get FDA approval.”
Getting approval may be difficult because Azar says vaping among teenagers is already at an all-time high.
“We are not going to let this generation become the one that flips us back to growing utilization of cigarettes,” said Azar.
E-cigarette companies agree they should only be used by adults.
But, in a statement, the American Vaping Association said: “destroying thousands of small businesses and sending ex-smokers back to smoking will do nothing to stop drug dealers from selling contaminated THC cartridges.”
Secretary Azar acknowledged companies may try to blocks the rules with a lawsuit.
“If they do they do, but what’s important is we’re here protecting the public health based on science, evidence and acting completely in conformity with the law.”
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