WASHINGTON — The federal government will act to ban thousands of
The surprise White House announcement could remake the multibillion-dollar vaping industry, which has been driven by sales of
The Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette
Trump, whose son Barron is 13 years old, said vaping has become such a problem that he wants parents to be aware of what's happening. "We can't allow people to get sick and we can't have our youth be so affected," he said.
Melania Trump recently tweeted her concerns over the combination of children and vaping, and at the meeting, the president said, "I mean, she's got a son — together — that is a beautiful, young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it."
Trump's first public comments on vaping come as health authorities investigate hundreds of breathing illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified, though many cases involve marijuana vaping.
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
But parents, teachers and health advocates have increasingly called for a crackdown on
"It has taken far too long to stop Juul and other e-cigarettes companies from targeting our nation's kids with sweet-
Federal law prohibits e-cigarette and all other tobacco sales to those under 18.
But federal health officials said Wednesday that preliminary data shows more than 1 in 4 high school students reported vaping this year, compared with 1 in 5 students in 2018. Federal health officials have called the trend an "epidemic," and they fear teenagers who vape will eventually start smoking.
More than 80
A ban on
Juul and others have argued that their products are intended to help adult smokers wean themselves off traditional paper-and-tobacco cigarettes.
But a Juul spokesman said in a statement that the company "strongly" agreed with the need for "aggressive action" on
"We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when effective," he stated.
The Vapor Technology Association said in a statement the
Some health experts have seen vaping as offering an "off ramp" for smokers, but the proposed ban casts enormous uncertainty over those hopes.
A 2009 law banned all
"We simply have to remove these attractive
Azar said the administration would allow tobacco-
It will take several weeks to develop the
Significantly, the Trump plan is expected to bar menthol and mint vaping
"Finally, the FDA is doing its job," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who has prodded the agency for months to take action on
Scott Gottlieb, who stepped down as FDA commissioner in April, said in a tweet that Juul bore particular responsibility for forcing the administration's hand.
"Unfortunately the entire category of e-cigs was put at risk largely as a result of the youth abuse of mostly one manufacturer's products," Gottlieb said.
Wednesday's announcement came despite months of aggressive lobbying by Juul, which spent $1.9 million in the first half of the year to try and sway the White House, Congress and the FDA.
Several former White House officials, including communications aide Josh Raffel, and Johnny DeStefano, who served as
A few local governments, including San Francisco, have passed bans on
E-cigarettes have been on the U.S. market for more than a decade. But FDA officials have repeatedly delayed enforcing regulations on them, referencing industry fears that regulation could wipe out thousands of small companies.
Most experts agree the aerosol from e-cigarettes is less harmful than cigarette smoke since it doesn't contain most of the cancer-causing byproducts of burning tobacco. E-cigarettes generally heat liquid containing nicotine. But there is virtually no research on the long-term effects of vaping.
Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.
Follow Matthew Perrone on Twitter: @AP_FDAwriter
Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press