Federal government plans to ban flavors used in e-cigarettes

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FILE – In this Tuesday, April 10, 2018 file photo, a high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in such places as restrooms or hallways at the school in Massachusetts. A government study released on Thursday, June 7, 2018, said teen vaping seemed to hold steady in 2017 and cigarette smoking […]

WASHINGTON (WLNS/AP) – The federal government will act to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes.

President Donald Trump made the announcement Wednesday, responding to a recent surge in underage vaping that has alarmed parents, politicians and health authorities nationwide.

The Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters during an Oval Office appearance with the president, first lady Melania Trump and the acting FDA commissioner, Ned Sharpless.

“I’m glad this administration is doing the right thing and following Michigan’s lead to ban flavored vaping products,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a written statement. “I’m proud that Michigan has been a leader on this issue, and I’m ready to continue working to protect our kids and our public health.”

The restrictions announced by Trump officials would only apply to nicotine vaping products, which are regulated by the FDA.

The FDA has had the authority to ban vaping flavors since 2016, but has previously resisted calls to take that step. Agency officials instead said they were studying if flavors could help smokers quit traditional cigarettes.

More than 80 percent of underage teens who use e-cigarettes say they picked their product because it “comes in flavors that I like,” according to government surveys.

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