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This bill could ban e-cigarette flavors nationwide

Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette plans to introduce legislation this week that could ban e-cigarette flavors on a national level, her office...

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 5:09 PM

Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette plans to introduce legislation this week that could ban e-cigarette flavors on a national level, her office announced Monday.

The bill, expected to be introduced to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, enters a contentious debate on how to regulate vaping products and address rising levels of e-cigarette use among youth.

Flavors are at the center of the regulatory debate: Some say they're an important tool in getting adults to switch from combustible cigarettes, while others want to ban them entirely because they appeal to kids and minimize how harmful and addictive vapes are perceived to be.

"To me, there is no legitimate reason to sell any product with names such as cotton candy or tutti fruitti, unless you are trying to market it to children," DeGette, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. "Most experts agree that the kid-friendly flavors that e-cigarette manufactures are selling with these products are one of the leading causes of this spike in use among our high school and middle school students."

If DeGette's bill becomes law, it will ban these flavors within a year if companies can't prove to the US Food and Drug Administration that flavors are not, as she underlined, implicated in the rise in vaping among kids. It would also require companies to show that flavors are instrumental in getting smokers to leave combustible cigarettes and that they don't make vapes more harmful to the user.

The bill also could ban flavors in cigars on the same timeline.

A study last year counted nearly 15,600 distinct e-cigarette flavors being sold online, based on websites from 2016 to 2017. Experts say that number has continued to grow.

A number of cities and states have taken steps to ban e-cigarette and cigar flavors on smaller scales.

The FDA announced in November that vaping had increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year before. This prompted the agency's commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, to propose strengthening its policies against flavored e-cigarette products.

Axios reported Friday that Gottlieb was unveiling plans at the White House that could prevent flavored e-cigarettes from being sold in convenience stores. In a statement to CNN, FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Rodriguez said, "I can confirm that Dr. Gottlieb was at the White House today, but cannot confirm any details." She deferred questions to the White House, where a representative said that "we don't have any announcements at this time."

Experts worry that the devices could put kids' developing brains at risk, get them hooked on nicotine early in life and be a gateway to smoking and other drugs. But the long-term effects aren't clear.

Mark Anton, executive director of industry group Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, previously told CNN that his group shares the goal of preventing kids from using vapes but doesn't think flavors should be the target.

On the other side, health advocates say flavors won't hold up to the standards outlined in the new legislation.

"There's no evidence that adults need these flavors to quit smoking," Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, founder and executive director of the Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit, said at an FDA hearing in January.

Halpern-Felsher's own research suggests that the majority of kids who have tried pod-based e-cigarettes started with one that was flavored.

"All flavors need to be eliminated," she said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
Jackson493569
Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
Montgomery418086
DeKalb411184
Whitley380239
Huntington379880
Miami372865
Knox366689
Steuben365757
Putnam353160
Jasper350946
Wabash347878
Adams338052
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308454
Daviess289499
Wells286481
Decatur279092
Fayette277262
Greene270785
Posey268833
Scott261153
LaGrange253670
Clay253544
Randolph235680
Washington231031
Spencer228031
Jennings225047
Fountain208845
Sullivan207942
Starke204752
Owen192356
Fulton192039
Jay186429
Carroll185920
Perry180736
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113845
Newton104234
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren79715
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1054807

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1225191356
Cuyahoga1074592069
Hamilton783261168
Montgomery50176996
Summit45557909
Lucas40298765
Butler37768570
Stark31513895
Lorain24246473
Warren23910293
Mahoning20946583
Lake20067362
Clermont19459229
Delaware18085130
Licking16149207
Fairfield15757197
Trumbull15627460
Medina14922259
Greene14706236
Clark13660293
Wood12806185
Portage12431196
Allen11352229
Richland11067198
Miami10548214
Muskingum8717127
Wayne8594209
Columbiana8569226
Pickaway8439121
Marion8390135
Tuscarawas8387240
Erie7600154
Hancock6730123
Ross6707146
Geauga6553146
Ashtabula6530165
Scioto6295101
Belmont5634158
Union558447
Lawrence5470102
Jefferson5343147
Huron5314114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5189120
Seneca5139120
Washington5087107
Athens503856
Auglaize476284
Mercer471984
Shelby456590
Knox4397108
Madison423959
Putnam421799
Ashland413488
Fulton410567
Defiance404296
Crawford3883101
Brown386955
Logan374476
Preble371098
Clinton362160
Ottawa357978
Highland347459
Williams328674
Champaign321557
Jackson308551
Guernsey307549
Perry290549
Fayette278048
Morrow275939
Hardin264764
Henry264366
Coshocton259857
Holmes253499
Van Wert239262
Pike233831
Gallia233446
Adams229152
Wyandot227553
Hocking209759
Carroll189447
Paulding168838
Meigs141738
Noble132937
Monroe128941
Morgan106823
Harrison105636
Vinton81614
Unassigned02
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