Update: This story has been updated to include information from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services about the number of e-cigarette illness cases in the state. 

The Trump administration announced Wednesday a plan to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to combat the vaping epidemic, according to a news release from the FDA.

This ban has been proposed to fight lung illnesses potentially caused by the use of e-cigarettes.

This comes after criticism of vaping companies for the number of children using flavored e-cigarettes. According to the CDC, e-cigarettes are unsafe for children through young adults because of the presence of nicotine and can lead to addiction to various other drugs in the future.

The proposed plan comes as “preliminary numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show a continued rise in the disturbing rates of youth e-cigarette use, especially through the use of non-tobacco flavors that appeal to kids,” according to the release.

At MU, there have been a few patients with respiratory problems that doctors suspected were caused by vaping but were unable to confirm, according to a MU Health Care pulmonologist. The pulmonologist also said that there has been at least one case where vaping was the leading diagnosis of respiratory distress, MU Health Care spokesperson Jesslyn Chew said via email.

According to a press release by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, the department has issued a health advisory regarding severe lung disease associated with vaping.

“Any person, particularly young people, experiencing unexplained chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping in the days or weeks prior to their symptom onset should seek medical attention,” the release said.

The CDC reports that as of Aug. 22, 193 potential cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarettes have been reported by 22 states.

The Missouri Poison Center has received more than 600 calls with complaints related to the use of e-cigarettes over the past 10 years and managed more than 30 cases of people experiencing difficulties breathing because of vaping over the past five years, according to the release.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced in a statement Thursday that nine possible cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes are currently under investigation by the department: two cases are confirmed and the other seven remain under investigation. 

  • Public Health and Safety reporter, fall 2019. Studying magazine journalism. Reach me at pggrm5@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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