President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he will direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the sale of flavored nicotine oil, commonly used in so-called “e-cigarettes,” Yahoo News reports. Currently, such products are sold under an FDA waiver.
“Vaping” is the process of burning nicotine oil, or in some cases, oil derived from cannabis, using an electronic vaporizer machine, sometimes called an electronic cigarette or “e-cigarette.” They’ve been a thing for about a decade now, with users purchasing cartridges filled with nicotine or cannabis oil in order to get their product.
In the case of nicotine oil, oftentimes they’re flavored with certain flavors, such as strawberry, watermelon, or mint.
For almost as long as e-cigarettes have been a thing, health advocates have worried that the flavors betray how dangerous it is to inhale vaporized nicotine. Further, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently said that the flavors make the products attractive to children, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Additionally, there’s another wrinkle — hundreds of people have gotten sick and a handful have died after coming down with severe lung ailments attributed to vaping.
Trump, calling the issue a “new problem in this country,” said now is the time to act.
“We are going to have to do something about it.”
17-year-old Witney is off the ventilator and continuing to recover from her life-threatening illness due to vaping. Her mother says she started vaping at 15 and had quit over concerns for her health when she started getting sick. She remains on oxygen and a feeding tube. pic.twitter.com/lDhZYZWCVz— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) September 11, 2019
Following Trump’s order, the Food and Drug Information will begin offering retailers guidance as to how to get the products off the market, a process that could take months. That is, however, if it’s not challenged by the vaporizer products industry. A lawsuit to block the move could tie the process up in the courts for even longer.
In the past couple of months, as reported by The Inquisitr, 450 people in 33 states have turned up in hospitals with lung issues after vaping, be it nicotine or marijuana. At least four people have died, including at least one person who died after vaping cannabis oil.
The “epidemic,” as Harvard researcher Dr. David Christiani called it, appears to have begun in early August, when just over a dozen teenagers and young adults — all from the area around the eastern edge of the Illinois-Wisconsin border — began showing up in emergency rooms with severe breathing issues after vaping.
The sicknesses spread across the Midwest and then to other states. This was followed up by reports of vaping-related deaths.
Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has warned all users of vaporizer products, cannabis or nicotine, to stop immediately. And if you are going to vape, be cognizant of the symptoms, she warns. They include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea and vomiting — if you have any of those symptoms after vaping, seek medical attention immediately.