Health & Fit Trump to pursue higher sales age for e-cigarettes
Michigan becomes first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes
Governor takes action after health officials declare youth vaping a public health emergency.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday his administration will pursue raising the age to purchase electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21 in its upcoming plans
Trump told reporters his administration will release its final plans for restricting e-cigarettes next week but provided few other details.
Trump says administration wants to ban flavored e-cigarettes
The president said he wants parents to know that his administration is carefully studying e-cigarettes.
"We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we're going to have an age limit of 21 or so," said Trump, speaking outside the White House.
Currently the minimum age to purchase any tobacco or vaping product is 18, under federal law. But more than one third of U.S. states have already raised their sales age to 21.
A federal law raising the purchase age would require congressional action.
Administration officials were widely expected to release plans this week for removing virtually all flavored e-cigarettes from the market. Those products are blamed for soaring rates of underage use by U.S. teenagers.
However, no details have yet appeared, leading vaping critics to worry that the administration is backing away from its original plan.
Michigan bans sales of flavored e-cigarettes
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Wednesday banned the sale of flavored e-cigarette products effective immediately in response to rising youth vaping rates in the state and across the country.
Trump resisted any specifics on the scope of the restrictions.
"We're talking about the age, we're talking about flavors, we're also talking about keeping people working — there are some pretty good aspects," Trump said.
E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade and are often pitched as a lower-risk option for smokers. But there is little research on their long-term health effects.
In a separate event Friday, Joe Grogan, a top policy adviser to Trump, said the White House believes e-cigarettes are "a viable alternative to combustible cigarettes." He suggested the administration's decision on vaping would reflect that potential benefit.
"We really want to make sure we're data driven on this and striking the right balance between adult choice and protecting kids," Grogan told reporters.
Underage vaping has reached what health officials call epidemic levels. In the latest government survey, 1 in 4 high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month.
Teen vaping rates doubled in 2019, with 25 percent of high school seniors using e-cigarettes
The percentage of teenagers who are vaping has doubled in the past two years, according to new data released Wednesday, with 25 percent of high school seniors using an e-cigarette in the past month.The data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also shows that 20 percent of 10th grade students vaped in the past month, up from 16 percent in 2018. And 9 percent of 8th grade students have vaped in the past month, up from 6 percent in 2018. NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow said the numbers show teen vaping is a "public health crisis.
Fruit, candy, dessert and other sweet vaping flavors have been targeted because of their appeal to underage users.
On Thursdayfrom the market. That decision followed new research that Juul's mint is the top choice for many high school students who vape.
Vaping critics say menthol must be a part of the flavor ban to prevent teens who currently use mint from switching over.
Juul and other tobacco companies have lobbied in support a federal "Tobacco 21" law to reverse teen use of both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products. The effort also has broad bipartisan support in Congress, including a bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The logic for hiking the purchase age for cigarettes and other products is clear: most underage teens who use e-cigarettes or tobacco get it from older friends. Raising the minimum age to 21 is expected to limit the supply of those products in U.S. schools.
Vaping-Related Death in Nebraska Brings National Death Toll to 15
The death was in May, but state officials didn't classify it as related to vaping until now.The state’s Department of Health and Human Services said the victim was 65 years old and from the Douglas County area. The person had died in May, before doctors and health agencies realized that people were developing lung illnesses from vaping, and Nebraska officials did not classify the death as such until now.
Delaying access to cigarettes is also expected to produce major downstream health benefits, with one government-funded report estimating nearly 250,000 fewer deaths due to tobacco over several decades.
Still, anti-tobacco groups have insisted that any "Tobacco 21" law must be accompanied by a ban on flavors, which they say are the primary reason that young people use e-cigarettes.
Gallery: 25 things vaping does to your body (The Remedy)
Follow Matthew Perrone on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AP_FDAwriter
U.S. endorses tobacco pouches as less risky than cigarettes .
For the first time, U.S. health regulators have endorsed a type of smokeless tobacco as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
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