The Trump administration is preparing to take action amid a rush of deaths linked to vaping.
After a meeting with President Trump and FDA commissioner Norman Sharpless on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that the FDA would soon issue regulations that would let it force flavored e-cigarette products off the shelves. The announcement doesn't signal a full ban just yet, but it does come precisely a year after the FDA declared teenage e-cigarette use an "epidemic," and just hours after a sixth death linked to e-cigarette use was reported.
Trump hinted at regulatory action after the Wednesday meeting, calling vaping a "problem," namely for "children." Azar followed that up with a statement, saying "we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes" and that the FDA is finalizing plans to do so. As CBS News' Kathryn Watson reports, tobacco companies didn't seem to be expecting the announcement.
Just called one of the major tobacco companies to get a comment on the president saying he wants to ban flavored e-cigs.
"Oh wow," the media affairs person who picked up the phone said.
Six people have been reported dead so far from a lung disease tied to vaping, and more than 450 possible cases have been reported in 33 states. Health officials are currently homing in on Vitamin E acetate as a possible link to the disease. Until a cause is found, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people against vaping altogether.