Trump Promises New Strategy on Underage Vaping

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An estimated 2.4 million high school and middle school students use flavored e-cigarettes, one of the studies found. Fruit was the most commonly reported flavor category, at 66.1% for high school and 67.7% for middle school, followed by menthol or mint at 57.3% for high school and 31.1% for middle school.

The move is seen as a compromise between the Trump administration officials, who have expressed a desire to combat youth nicotine addiction, and those in the White House who are concerned about how the ban would impact Trump's chances in the 2020 election, Wall Street Journal reports.

A lot of questions remain unanswered about the implementation of a federal law change raising the age for legal sales of tobacco, e-cigarette and vaping products from 18 to 21.

FDA officials said Thursday they will continue targeting vaping products that appeal to underage users in other ways, such as packaging that mimics juice boxes, cereal or kid-friendly snacks.

The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that more than five million United States middle and high school students are e-cigarette users, with almost one million using daily.

The flavour ban applies to e-cigarettes, such as Juul Labs Inc products, which use disposable cartridges filled with liquid nicotine and are often sold in convenience stores.

"Children have died, people have died", Trump said at the time, citing wife Melania's concerns as the parent of a teenager.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free-Kids, slammed the decision.

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The Trump administration has made curtailing teen nicotine use a public-health priority. Flavours for open tank systems, that use "mods" that have interchangeable tanks will still be available-pods are believed to be more popular with the youth.

Juul, the biggest e-cigarette company in the USA, had already pulled its flavoured pods from the market, but Thursday's action forces competitors to make a similar move, within 30 days.

CNN has reached out to Juul for comment.

The administration's latest plan caps months of zig-zagging on the politically charged issue of youth vaping.

The new restrictions make some important exceptions.

The youth tobacco data released in September showed that nearly 28 per cent of high school students had vaped in the previous 30 days in 2019. Introduced in August 2016, the rules that brought e-cigarettes under FDA tobacco authority meant that any intended to be legally marketed would first need to be assessed through the same processes that regular cigarettes would. But since then, the Administration had seemed to bow to industry and political pressures and back away from such a ban.

The companies also say that a full flavor ban would put thousands of vape shops out of business. But public health groups say that teens will switch to menthol-flavoured pods as long as they are left on the market. If you can stop smoking, that's a big advantage. Administration officials in the past have noted that data shows that young people prefer other flavours to menthol. Those that don't submit applications could be forced off the market.

"It's something that's pretty new, and it took us by surprise a little bit", said Nate Wellington, a tobacco use prevention health educator with Lewis and Clark Public Health.

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