Trump Administration calls on FDA to pull all flavored e-cigarettes off the market

Following the sixth e-cigarette death in the United States, Health and Human Services Secretary calls on the FDA to take the necessary steps to ban all flavored e-cigarettes.


Katie Goodale

Photo Illustration by Katie Goodale

Hannah Rovner, News Reporter

Following a string of reported e-cigarette-related deaths in the United States, the Trump administration on Wednesday moved to ban all flavored e-cigarettes — underregulated smoking-alternative devices used by some college students. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday announced that the organization now has the intention of “clearing the market of flavored e-cigarettes” entirely. 

The Trump administration’s action comes after the confirmation of the first vaping-related death in the nation in August. Kansas health officials reported the sixth vaping-related death on Tuesday.

Vaping and e-cigarettes are prominent on college campuses, including the University of Iowa. According to the 2019 National College Health Assessment, 26.8 percent of UI undergraduates reported using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.

Trump’s proposed plan would take all flavored e-cigarettes off the market in hopes of reducing death and contraction of lung disease.

RELATED: UI students unaware of health effects of vaping, first vape related death confirmed

The Food and Drug Administration had previously listed 93 harmful chemicals prominent in e-cigarettes. However, several students previously told The Daily Iowan that they are unaware of the harmful substances in these small devices. 

“I think people start vaping because all their friends are doing it,” UI senior Matthew Cannida said in August. “They have a need to fit in or do what everyone else is doing.”

Other UI students are in favor of stricter laws regarding vape and e-cigarette products.

“I think it’s an awesome idea,” UI senior Ross Nickerson said Wednesday. “I recently decided to quit Juuling because I started seeing [its] negative effects on my health. I have friends and family members who are hooked on Juuling and/or e-cigarettes, and it hurts to see people struggle to quit.”

Vickie Meine, interim director of the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy, recently told the DI that people who vape do not know what chemicals they are breathing in, because e-cigarettes have historically been unregulated.

UI Health Management and Policy Department research associate Kim Merchant said e-cigarette production is not regulated by the state of Iowa and also does fall under the broad umbrella of “tobacco products.”

Public-health officials are currently investigating the issue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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