A Trump Ban On E-Cigarette Flavors Would Be A Good Start, Colorado Advocates Say

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A Juul e-cigarette.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in electronic cigarettes in an attempt to combat a spike in underage vaping by U.S. teenagers.

Colorado tobacco-control advocates say they welcome a ban on flavored e-cigarettes but want to know more about the details. 

Public health officials are investigating 450 cases of lung disease and 6 deaths nationwide linked to vaping.

That includes four in Colorado.

R.J. Ours, government relations director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, says those cases have changed the public debate.

"It's taken a lot of people by surprise not just the suddenness of it, but the seriousness of the conditions that seem to be afflicting these young adults."

Colorado ranked first in teen vaping among states in a survey last year. Communities here Colorado have been considering a wide variety of measures, from flavor bans to tax increases to raising the buying age.

"This is a great move by the FDA," Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser wrote on Twitter. "I applaud this effort to protect the public health. I look forward to working with Colorado legislators and supporting an effort to do this in Colorado."

Ours says today's news is a good start, and won't change a push to limit flavored tobacco products of all kinds.

"We don't know exactly what will happen at the federal level, we don't exactly when it's going to happen or how extensive the coverage will be on products."

The American Vaping Association, said it was “deeply disappointed," that the move will hurt adult vapers and lead to a black market for flavored products.

Via email, a Juul spokesman wrote, "We strongly agree with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products. We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when effective."