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Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids Calls Partial Ban On Flavored Vaping Products 'Dangerous'

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Trump administration announced a new policy that will prohibit fruit, candy, mint and dessert flavors from small, cartridge-based e-cigarettes that are popular with high school students.

However, the ban will not include the sale of menthol or tobacco flavors.

"This policy is one that was dictated by the e-cigarette industry," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Myers said banning flavors is good but leaving menthol and tobacco vaping products on the market is dangerous.

"Menthol cigarettes are used by more than half of all kids as they start a product," he said.

His group said one-third of all e-cigarette users in the United States are middle and high school students, and 97 percent of kids use flavored pods.

President Trump hinted at the ban this week.

"We're gonna protect our families, we're gonna protect our children and we're gonna protect the industry," he said.

A few months ago, CBS4's Lauren Pastrana spoke to 18-year-old Chance Ammirata, whose doctor believes his vaping may have contributed to a lung injury.

"I never thought I'd be addicted," he said. "I'm sure every other teenager or young adult would say the same exact thing."

The Centers for Disease Control counts more than 2,500 cases of people hospitalized with e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury and 55 deaths.

The CDC said the chemical vitamin E acetate, found in some vaping products, is "closely associated" with the deaths and illnesses.

In August, Tony Dokoupil sat down with then-Juul CEO Kevin Burns.

DOKOUPIL: What do you say to those families, those parents, about their teens using these products?

BURNS: As I've said this before, I'm sorry that their kids are using the product. We never intended for our product to be used by them.

Some vape shop owners worry a ban will also hurt business. Arizona vape shop co-owner Scout Stubbs said she's already expanding to hemp products to offset a drop in sales.

"If we just enforce the laws we already have, or maybe beef them up, have some marketing restrictions… there are solutions out there to combat youth usage that don't involve banning adult products," Stubbs said.

Myers disagrees.

"This is not an issue about jobs, this is an issue about the health of our nation's children," he said.

CBS News reached out to the American Vaping Association for comment on this story but had not heard back.

Juul, the market leader, declined to comment.

In the past, Juul has said none if its products contain vitamin E acetate.


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