The Therapeutic Goods Administration classifies nicotine as a ‘dangerous poison’ and it is an offence to sell the chemical unless a permit has been issued. Picture: iStock
The Therapeutic Goods Administration classifies nicotine as a ‘dangerous poison’ and it is an offence to sell the chemical unless a permit has been issued. Picture: iStock

US weighs banning flavoured e-cigarettes

US regulators say they are preparing to issue a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes after a mysterious lung disease sickened hundreds of people and is suspected in a number of deaths among people who vaped.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the plan to propose the removal of non-tobacco vaping products with flavours such as bubble gum and mango during a briefing in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Azar said the flavoured e-cigarettes would be off the market until approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The products have become attractive to young people and should be banned, Azar said after he and and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless briefed US President Donald Trump on new data showing a surge in teen vaping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week it is investigating more than 450 cases of lung disease, including five deaths that officials suspect were caused by vaping.

"People are dying from vaping and we're looking at it very closely," Trump said. He said first lady Melania Trump, who was also at the briefing with Azar and Sharpless, "feels very strongly about it", especially given their son Barron is a teenager.

Five million children in the US use e-cigarettes, Sharpless said. Another estimated 8 million adults use the products.

Advocates for e-cigarettes say they are less dangerous and less addictive that regular cigarettes and are a way to help people quit smoking altogether.


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