"The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes," said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in a release. "By prioritizing enforcement against the products that are most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don't provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth."
The new rules are focused on vaping products with prefilled cartridges, as opposed to so-called open systems, which require a person to manually fill the e-cigarette with liquid. In the release announcing the ban, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said cartridge-based vaping products are both "easy to use and easily concealable."
In recent months, more than 2,500 people have ended up in the hospital due to severe lung illnesses and other health problems after vaping -- and at least 54 people have died. In December, health officials said they were confident that vitamin E acetate in black-market marijuana products is strongly linked to vaping illnesses.
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