US President Donald Trump has given yet another indication that he wants to see various vaping flavours taken off the market.
After several people died as a result of illnesses linked to electronic smoking, Mr Trump said his government will be announcing a new strategy to combat underage vaping.
Speaking on New Year’s Eve from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, he said: “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry.”
Having previously said all vaping flavours should be taken off the market, except for those that are manufactured to taste like tobacco, Mr Trump doubled down on his stance, suggesting that “certain flavours” would be taken off the market “for a period of time”.
The president added: “Hopefully, if everything’s safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market.”
“People have died from this, they died from vaping. We think we understand why. But we’re doing a very exhaustive examination and hopefully everything will be back on the market very, very shortly.”
“Vaping can be good from the standpoint – you look at the e-cigarettes, you stop smoking. If you can stop smoking, that’s a big advantage. So, we think we’re going to get it back on the market very, very quickly.”
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The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would ban the sale of most flavoured e-cigarettes. E-cigarette pods formulated to taste like tobacco or menthol would still be allowed.
An effort by Mr Trump’s top health officials in September to take virtually all flavoured e-cigarettes off the shelves was met with significant pushback by lobbyists from the industry, who warned he could lose votes from people that vape.
In May, all electronic smoking products in the US will be subject to a review by the FDA and only those that can demonstrate a benefit to public health will be allowed to stay on the market.
The federal agency has had the authority to ban e-cigarette flavours since 2016 but has resisted calls to take that step.
The FDA has previously said it wanted to study the role of flavours in vaping products, including whether they help adult smokers quit traditional cigarettes.