FILE PHOTO: A man uses a vape device in this illustration picture, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Illustration/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to raise the age limit for vaping to 21, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday, adding that his administration would issue its final report on such products next week.
Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, did not give further details about the administration’s regulatory plans or give a specific date for any announcements.
U.S. health officials have been sounding the alarm amid a nationwide outbreak of serous lung illnesses linked to vaping, and have raised concerns about the use of electronic smoking devices, particularly among youth.
Trump called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration to study the issue in September, and said regulators planned to ban all flavored e-cigarettes.
Congress is also investigating the industry. Additionally, various U.S. states and localities have cracked down on the products, which have also faced numerous lawsuits.
“We have to take care of our kids most importantly so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so,” Trump said.
Still, he acknowledged the interests of the vaping industry and said the administration was also weighing the impact of any action on jobs.
“We’re talking about the age, were talking about flavors we’re also talking about keeping people working,” he told reporters.
The use of flavors such as mint and fruit to make vaping more appealing has also faced criticism from public health advocates and others. On Thursday, e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc said it would immediately halt U.S. sales of its mint-flavored nicotine cartridges.
Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Susan Heavey; Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis