U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday told reporters the United States has a problem with vaping and must do something about it, as he met with government officials at the White House about the emerging health concerns around electronic cigarettes.
U.S. public health officials are investigating 450 cases of vaping-related lung illness across 33 states and one U.S. territory, including six deaths.
The nationwide investigation led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not linked the illnesses to any specific e-cigarette device, ingredient or additive.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the FDA is looking at whether to require all e-cigarette flavours aside from tobacco flavours to be removed from the market.
Azar said they’ve seen a huge spike in youth use of minted menthol-flavoured cigarettes.
President of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Sandy Buchman, said physicians are concerned about the rising number of Canadian youths who are vaping.
“We believe the federal government needs to move more urgently to address this emerging public health issue,” Buchman said in a statement to CBC News on Wednesday.
“As news emerges from the U.S. and more research is conducted, we believe it is time to be extremely vigilant in Canada and not repeat past mistakes. Health Canada must therefore play a leadership role to reduce the potential risks.”
The CMA said:
- Vaping products should be treated the same as tobacco.
- Marketing and promotion of vaping products should not be permitted in public places, broadcast or print media, with no exceptions.
- Like tobacco, health warning labels should be prominent to ensure that consumers understand the risks.
No cases of the acute lung illness associated with e-cigarette use have been reported in Canada.