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The administration of the American president, Donald Trump, announced on Wednesday that he has ordered the North American Medicines Agency (FDA) to prioritize the regulations for the application of the authorization requirements necessary for marketing to electronic cigarettes, so that unauthorized and tobacco-free products are left out of the market, except mint and menthol.
"It's causing a lot of problems," the president told reporters at the White House, where he was accompanied by the secretary of health, Alex Azar, and the acting head of the drug and food agency, the FDA, Norman Sharpless.
Trump has added that the first lady, Melania Trump, has participated in the discussions because "she has a son ... she is very determined about it."
With this measure, which aims to be ready in the coming weeks, the US wants to combat the epidemic of the use of electronic cigarettes by young people , as well as reduce the health crisis opened by the use of unauthorized liquids, which could have caused death of five people and almost 500 cases of lung disease. Several adolescents had to be induced a coma, including one whose doctors have warned that, if he recovers, he may need a lung transplant.
"We will not be left without doing anything, " said Azar in an institutional statement, who explained that "the Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clean the market for flavored electronic cigarettes to reverse the deeply worrisome epidemic of the use of electronic cigarettes by young people that is affecting children, families, schools and communities. "
These products become an access route to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of young people. This is shown by the National Tobacco Survey for Young People, also presented this Wednesday, and which shows a "continuous increase" in the rates of the use of electronic cigarettes among young people , especially through the use of flavors that are not of tobacco that attract the little ones.
In particular, preliminary data shows that more than a quarter of high school students were current users (last 30 days) of electronic cigarettes in 2019 and the overwhelming majority of young electronic cigarette users mentioned the use of popular fruit flavors and menthol or mint.
"We appreciate the continued support of President Trump and Secretary Azar to the agency's efforts to prevent the use of electronic cigarettes by young people, including the bold approach we are announcing today. Once finalized, this compliance policy will serve as a powerful tool that the FDA can use to combat the worrying trend of electronic cigarette use by young people, "said FDA interim commissioner Ned Sharpless.
The objective of the FDA is to "act quickly" against flavored products , and they warn that if they observe that the youngest, once banned, begin to be interested in tobacco-flavored products, they are determined to "take additional measures. ". "The tremendous progress we have made in reducing tobacco use among young people in the United States is jeopardized by this avalanche of electronic cigarette use. No one wants to see children become addicted to nicotine," Sharpless concluded.
The FDA took over in 2016 to regulate the marketing of electronic nicotine delivery systems, including electronic cigarettes or vapers, and has the authority to require that associated devices or products be removed.
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