NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump and the Food and Drug Administration plan to remove most flavored e-cigarettes from the market.
“A lot of people think vaping is wonderful. It’s really not wonderful,” the president said Wednesday. “We’re going to have to do something about it.”
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Now, the FDA is taking aim at flavored options, like Pink Burst and Blue Slushie, that are most attractive to teenagers.
“These products should not be available in establishments where children can easily get them,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. “We simply have to remove these attractive flavored products from the marketplace until they secure FDA approval.”
New Jersey lawmakers are considering even more drastic measures. State Senate President Steve Sweeney has proposed making the state the first in the country to ban the sale of all vaping products.
On Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the creation of an Electronic Smoking Device Task Force.
“Which will over the course of the next three weeks identify and recommend actions we can take both administratively and legally to protect New Jersey residents, especially kids, from the hazards of vaping,” Murphy said.
WEB EXTRA – Watch the announcement of New Jersey’s new steps to combat vaping in the state:
In New York, lung-related illnesses have been linked to vaping in patients as young as 15 years old. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced new requirements, like placing warning signs in vape and smoke shops. He’s also going after companies that add certain harmful chemicals to their products.
The manager at Liberty Smoke Shop on 10th Avenue near 48th Street told CBS2 most of his customers vape to help them quit smoking cigarettes. He said e-cigarettes are not sold to anyone under 21 years old, and plans to take flavored options off the shelves could cut 30 to 40 percent of business.
“A lot of people love the flavor. At the moment, it’s really popular,” Saleem Akhter said.
The American Vaping Association said a ban “will remove life-changing options from the market that have been used by several million American adults to quit smoking.”
“Just getting rid of these products, it’s going to do nothing to combat the black market-contaminated THC products that are causing lung illnesses and will actually just open up a brand new potentially multi-million-dollar black market,” AVA President Gregory Conley said.
“I’m sorry that their kids are using the product. We never intended for our product to be used by them,” JUUL Lab CEO Kevin Burns told CBS This Morning.
But kids are vaping at alarming rates. Studies show 25% of high school students vape, most saying because of the flavored options.
Once the FDA guidelines are in place, companies will be able to apply for exemptions. But those companies would have to prove there’s a public health benefit.
Trump said the issue is personal, especially for the first lady, because their son Barron is in the targeted age group.