Fancy flavors for e-cigarettes are banned in the United States. President Donald Trump announced that he wanted to introduce "very strict" regulations for manufacturers. He described the use of e-cigarettes as a "big problem".
Shortly before, US authorities had reported another death due to the use of e-cigarettes - now the sixth. In connection with the deaths, the authorities had warned all users of e-cigarettes prior to their use, as it could possibly lead to lung damage. In addition to six known deaths, according to the CDC, approximately 450 potential illnesses have been reported in 33 states.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now working on guidelines that ban all flavors except tobacco, said Health Minister Alex Azar. There are many different e-cigarettes and thousands of so-called liquids - liquids that are evaporated.
Azar complained that more and more schoolchildren smoked e-cigarettes that tasted of mint, fruit, alcohol or chewing gum. Liquids that taste like tobacco are exempted from the proposed scheme because adults might "need the e-cigarettes to stop smoking cigarettes or cigars," Azar said. Should it turn out, however, that minors are switching to tobacco-flavored products, further measures are conceivable.
"We can not let people get sick"
Trump repeatedly pointed to the risks of smoking e-cigarettes: people would die, he said. "We can not let people get sick." Ostensibly, the proposed ban was justified not with the deaths become known, but with the increasing consumption by minors.
First Lady Melania Trump had already expressed her concern about the consumption of children's e-cigarettes and talked about a "growing epidemic" on Twitter.
Data shows a high usage of flavored e-cigarettes among our youth. It's our responsibility as parents to understand the dangers that come from vaping. Our Administration supports the removal of flavored e-cigarettes from stores until they're approved by @US_FDA. #BestBest pic.twitter.com/02O5waTgIj- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 11, 2019
Reports of unexplained lung disease that occur after consuming e-cigarettes have accumulated in the US in recent months (read all the key questions and answers on e-cigarette risks here). The cause is not yet clear. Many of those affected had used liquids containing the psychoactive cannabis drug THC. Some US states allow the sale of related THC products.
In Germany or Europe so far no similar increase of such cases is known. The complaints seem to be confined to users of e-cigarettes in the United States. In general, the EU is subject to other directives concerning the contents of e-cigarettes. For example, e-cigarettes in the US contain up to four times more nicotine.