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Trump plan to curb teen vaping exempts some flavors

The policy is a major step back from Trump's original plan announced in September that would have banned nearly all flavors.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 photo, a man using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. are still rising, though at a slightly slower pace. On Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been nearly 1,500 cases and at least 33 deaths in the still mysterious outbreak. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

U.S. health officials will ban most flavored e-cigarettes popular with underage teenagers, with some exemptions.

The announcement Thursday by the Trump administration includes a ban of  fruit, candy, mint and dessert flavors from small, cartridge-based e-cigarettes that are popular with high school students. The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday the policy won't affect menthol or tobacco flavors. 

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The policy also won't affect large, tank-based vaping products sold in vape shops that cater to adults. These major exceptions benefit companies that make and sell e-cigarettes and adults who use the nicotine-emitting devices. 

“As we work to combat the troubling epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, the enforcement policy we’re issuing today confirms our commitment to dramatically limit children’s access to certain flavored e-cigarette products we know are so appealing to them – so-called cartridge-based products that are both easy to use and easily concealable," FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a statement. "We will continue to use our full regulatory authority thoughtfully and thoroughly to tackle this alarming crisis that’s affecting children, families, schools and communities." 

Those changes are a major step back from President Donald Trump's original plan announced in September, which would have banned nearly all flavors in all vaping products.

The FDA also recently changed the minimum age to purchase all tobacco products to 21 from 18. The measure came as part of the $1.4 trillion spending package signed by President Donald Trump. 

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