The Trump Administration has said it would ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes at a time when hundreds of people nationwide have been hospitalized with mysterious lung illnesses, and as teen vaping continues to rise. According to a report in The New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would outline a plan in the coming weeks to remove flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine pods from the market, including tobacco flavors. This ban would include such flavors as mint and menthol. The White House, as well as the FDA, have faced increasing pressure from lawmakers, public health officials, and educators who have been alarmed by the skyrocketing popularity and use of e-cigarettes among teens but have felt powerless when it comes to preventing students from accessing these vaping devices.
Severe Respiratory Illnesses
Over the summer, there have been close to 500 cases of severe respiratory illnesses linked to vaping devices in nearly 25 states. So far, six deaths have been reported. States and local governments have begun taking action as well. Last week, Michigan became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. New York, Massachusetts, and California are considering similar measures. San Francisco approved a ban on e-cigarettes earlier this year.
Juul Labs, the largest seller of e-cigarettes in the United States has been heavily criticized for its marketing tactics especially when it comes to using social media influencers to sell its vaping devices. Juul and other e-cigarette manufacturers have also systematically targeted young people with pods and vaping juices that have flavors such as mango, cucumber, cherry, bubble gum, and cotton candy.
The use of e-cigarettes is widely prevalent among minors. According to government statistics, five million minors, mostly in their high school years, reported that they had used e-cigarettes recently. About 25 percent of the nation’s high school students said they had vaped within the last 30 days, which is up from 20 percent last year.
White House officials believe removing flavor pods from stores has shifted youths from fruit or candy flavors to menthol and mint, which are still available. They say they are seeing a huge increase in youth use of menthol and mint e-cigarettes.
Our product defect lawyers have long maintained that e-cigarettes are harmful to the health of children and adults alike. Study after study has shown the adverse effects these dangerous products can have on our health. Now, we’re seeing young people in hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units struggling to breathe and hooked on to breathing machines because their lungs have been damaged due to vaping. It’s about time that these defective and dangerous products are removed from the market and manufacturers who knowingly put them on the market are held accountable.