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US to ban flavored e-cigarettes after six vaping-related deaths

WASHINGTON (Sept 12): The Trump administration is planning to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes after an outbreak of vaping-related lung diseases sickened over 450 and killed at least six people in the country, reported Xinhua news agency.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will finalise a policy in the coming weeks that would clear the market of unauthorised, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products, according to a statement released on Wednesday by the US Health and Human Services (HHS).

US President Donald Trump called it "a problem overall," and "specifically with respect for children" after a meeting with HHS secretary Alex Azar and FDA acting commissioner Norman Sharpless on Wednesday.

"The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities," said Azar.

Vaping companies like Juul have been criticised for luring young adult and children to use e-cigarettes with fruity flavors. A total of five million children are using e-cigarette products, according to Azar, who called it an "alarming" trend.

Preliminary data show that more than a quarter of US high school students were recent e-cigarettes users this year and the overwhelming majority of youth e-cigarette users cited the use of popular fruit and menthol or mint flavors, according to HHS.

As of Sept 6, more than 450 cases of lung illness among those who vaped nicotine or cannabis-related products were reported to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) across 33 states. Kansas health officials said Tuesday that a sixth person in the United States had died from lung disease related to vaping.

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