Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his administration was considering a ban on flavored vaping products, amid a growing outbreak of severe lung disease in the U.S. that has claimed at least six lives.
"We can't allow people to get sick and we can't have our youth be so affected", he said, adding that he hopes today's announcement will lead to parents becoming "tougher".
"Not only is it a problem overall, but really specifically with respect for children", Trump told reporters at the White House after a meeting with advisers including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Norman Sharpless.
No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified at this time, though NY health officials are probing vitamin E acetate as a potential cause of some of the illnesses.
"We simply have to remove these attractive flavored products from the marketplace until they can secure FDA approval, if they can", Azar said.
MI became the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes earlier this month, while San Francisco in June took a step to curb teen vaping addiction by banning the sales of the devices. The restrictions, which have not been finalized, would affect sweet and fruity flavors, but not mint and menthol, which are also said to attract teens. The president said he wants parents to know that his administration is carefully studying e-cigarettes, and said they have been linked to potentially very bad deaths.
The report comes shortly after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a $160 million campaign to end the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers on Tuesday.
"A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it's great".
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not yet concluded which specific vaping products might cause it. Five million children are using e-cigarette products, Azar said, calling it an "alarming" trend.
FILE - In this February 20, 2014, file photo, a patron exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in NY. E-cigarettes generally heat liquid containing nicotine.