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Trump wants to ban flavored e-cigarettes as concern grows about vaping

The FDA, CDC and FTC are taking action against e-cigarette makers.

President Trump vaping

President Trump wants to take action against vaping products. 

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Wednesday stepped up the US government's action against e-cigarette manufacturers, suggesting a ban on flavored vaping products. Health concerns over e-cigarettes have increased in recent months amid an outbreak of serious lung illnesses that may be related to using e-cigarettes, or vaping.

This comes two days after the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Juul Labs over the company's marketing practices that included telling students that e-cigs were "totally safe."

The Trump administration will look to ban all non-tobacco flavored vaping products, according to a report from CBS News on Wednesday. Bloomberg reported that Trump called vaping a "problem." 

"We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it," the president said Wednesday at the White House. "We can't allow people to get sick. People are dying."

On Friday, though, Trump added that he "likes" the vaping alternative to smoking cigarettes, and that the focus should not only be on preventing children from vaping, but also on getting "counterfeits off the market." on Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an "emergency executive action" to place a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.The move will advance legislation that aims to eliminate deceptive marketing practices of e-cigarettes to underage users and raises the purchasing age of e-cigarettes from 18 to 21-years-old. 

Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary, said the FDA will plan the removal of all e-cigarette flavors with the exception of tobacco flavor, which can still be sold. According to the secretary, manufacturers of flavored vaping products will be able to file for FDA approval but remain off the market until approved. 

"We're seeing a surge in high school and middle school kids using these flavored products," Azar said in a tweet from the official White House Twitter account Wednesday. "We've got to stop it. We're going to have a whole generation of children addicted to nicotine, and that's just horrible."

The Federal Trade Commission also is looking into Juul's marketing. In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened a probe on vaping after more than 150 people were hospitalized with lung issues

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment. 

Originally published Sept. 11.
Updates, Sept. 11, 11:33 a.m. PT: Adds more background details. 6:24 p.m. PT: Adds White House tweet. UpdateSept. 13 at 4:27 p.m. PT: Adds Friday tweet from Trump.