• Mixed feelings over vaping ban across the U.S.

    By: Winnie Wright

    Updated:

    U.S. health officials are currently investigating 450 possible cases of lung disease caused by vaping.

    Wednesday, the Trump administration announced its intentions to ban vaping cartridges that are any flavor but tobacco.

    Health and Human Services secretary, Alex Azar, followed up with preliminary plans to take flavored e-cigarettes off the market.

    The announcement promoted the hashtag #VapeBan, which has been trending on Twitter all day. 

    One Mid-South vape store manager said the removal of flavors could force people to return to cigarettes, He also said the Trump administration's negative energy is pointed in the wrong direction.

    "Getting these products off the shelves is going to prevent another generation of kids from getting addicted to these products."

    Michael Seilback, assistant vice president of State Public Policy for the American Lung Association mincing no words when it comes to the harmful effects on vaping on kids.

    Six Americans have died from lung disease due to vaping in what the FDA is calling an 'outbreak.'

    Seilback said the American Lung Association supports the Trump administration's efforts to ban flavored pods. "There's no reason to be selling these products that the industry has totally marketed to our youth. Getting them off the shelves makes sense for public health."

    Voices on the other side of the argument, just as passionate.

    "You cannot buy cigarettes online, you cannot buy alcohol online. You must go to age-restricted shops to buy those things. Why wouldn't you do that with vaping," asked Claresa Warren, director of operations for Vaporwize, a chain of vape retailers in the Memphis-area.


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    Brick-and-mortar stores like her must check IDs for all purchases.

    She blames online retailers, not flavored cartridges, for the increase in underage vaping.

    "When you put it on the internet, how are you really verifying the age of those people? Anyone can do that."

    Warren is also a former smoker using vaping to quit. She said banning flavors all together doesn't solve the issue of teen-vaping and causes undue burden on adults.

    "It's going to revert them back to cigarettes, a lot of them back to cigarettes," she argues.

    Seilback said the young people using e-cigarettes aren't doing it to quit.

    "These products have not been approved as a quit smoking device. With the recent outbreak of pulmonary disease, we are actually telling all Americans, 'do not use these cigarettes, period," he said finally.

    Warren also said if flavored vaping cartridges are banned, there will be no need for their businesses to have storefronts, closing up shops across the country.

    Seilback said the American Lung Association and the government are playing catch-up, trying to protect Americans already addicted to vaping from getting sick and encouraging them to quit, while also preventing the next generation from getting addicted.

    No word when the Trump administration will release its plan of action.

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