FDA to ban flavored vaping products amid wave of lung illnesses

The FDA plans to issue a regulatory guidance that would remove flavored e-cigarette products from the market under the guidance of President Donald Trump. The move comes amid a wave of vaping-related illnesses that has sickened more than 450 people nationwide.

 "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," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the news release Sept 11. 

Recently, lawmakers have been pushing for quicker FDA investigation and regulation of e-cigarettes, calling for age restrictions, flavor bans and marketing crackdowns, according to Politico. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., in May proposed a bill that would raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products to 21. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., have also proposed legislation that would raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21, ban flavors and restrict advertising. Currently, the bill has 33 co-sponsors, 32 of whom are Democrats. Ms. Shalala said she believes the bill will garner more Republican support, since the lung diseases had not emerged when the bill's initial sponsors signed on, according to Politico.

Officials are still unclear about the exact cause of the vaping-related respiratory disease, which has killed six people. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing regarding the vaping-related illnesses and e-cigarette regulation Sept. 25. 

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