Trump to meet on e-cigarettes as White House considers crackdown


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, seated in the Oval Office with the President, first lady Melania Trump and the acting commissioner of the FDA, announced that newly proposed enforcement policy would require flavored e-cigarette companies to take their products off the market.

Tobacco flavored products will still be available for adults, who are trying to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, according to Azar.

The first lady, whose "Be Best" platform focuses in part on children's health and combating addiction, has spoken out a few times over her concerns over e-cigarette use by children. The restrictions, which have not been finalized, would affect sweet and fruity flavors, but not mint and menthol, which are also said to attract teens.

Azar said the FDA would soon issue regulatory guidance allowing the agency to remove flavored vaping products that are believed to appeal to children.

And Trump said the e-cig companies can afford to contend with new roadblocks to the youth market.

"The tobacco industry uses flavored tobacco products to lure kids into a lifetime of nicotine addiction", said a statement from its CEO, Gary Reedy. "People think it's an easy solution to cigarettes, but turns out that it has its own difficulties", said President Trump.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA and state health departments have been investigating this outbreak.

USA health officials urging people to stop using e-cigarettes; Casey Stegall reports from Dallas.

NY state health authorities have focused their investigation on vitamin E acetate, which is used as a thickener in black market vaping cartridges.

No cases of the acute lung illness associated with e-cigarette use have been reported in Canada. But that law did not apply to e-cigarettes, which were then a tiny segment of the tobacco market. The chemicals are considered safe as food additives but their long-term effects when inhaled have not been studied.