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FDA To Banish Flavored E-Cigarettes To Combat Youth Vaping

作者:未知 来源:美国国家公共电台 2019-09-13

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Federal health officials went to the White House today and got the go-ahead to banish flavored vaping products from the market. The Food and Drug Administration action is aimed at an epidemic of teenage vaping. NPR science correspondent Richard Harris reports.

RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: When these products came on the market, some people welcomed vaping as a potentially safer alternative to cigarettes. And while millions of adults have switched from cigarettes, vaping has also drawn in a new generation of nicotine addicts. The latest survey of youth tobacco use shows this trend is continuing, says Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

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ALEX AZAR: We are seeing a continued surging of middle school and high school children using e-cigarettes, increasing frequency of their use and children being drawn in by flavored e-cigarette products, including menthol, bubblegum, mango, alcohol-flavored, et cetera.

HARRIS: Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Azar said he was directing the FDA to develop a plan that will ban these child-friendly flavors. Tobacco-flavored products would still be allowed, at least for now, he said, intended for adults as an alternative to cigarettes.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

AZAR: But if we find that children start surging into tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes or if we find marketing practices that target children and try to drive the market share into tobacco-flavored products, we'll engage in enforcement actions there also.

HARRIS: Health advocates said this step is long overdue. Paul Billings at the American Lung Association says his group and others successfully sued the FDA to force regulation of vaping products. He suspects the recent outbreak of serious lung disease among vapers has finally put these problems in the spotlight.

PAUL BILLINGS: And unfortunately, it's taken this crisis to finally prompt this action.

HARRIS: Health officials don't know whether flavored products have contributed to more than 450 cases of lung disease, including six deaths. But people who are addicted to nicotine and vaping devices put themselves at risk, he says. The FDA says it intends to finalize its new policy in the coming weeks.

Richard Harris, NPR News.

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