Sen. Blumenthal calls out Trump for reneging on promise to ban flavored e-cigs

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s senior U.S. Senator is calling out President Trump on Friday for reneging on a promise to ban flavored vaping products.

Senator Richard Blumenthal has been joined by other senators in writing to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging swift action.

With statistics now indicating that 30 to 40% of high school kids have tried or are using vaping products, the push is on to ban the products with the flavors most attractive to kids.

Related: CT teens out of the loop on dangers of vaping, say they need to be reached via social media

“We’ve seen children with all types of nicotine illnesses ranging from ‘nicsick’ or having acutely psyschotic episodes as well as to children who have the more severe vaping injury,” Dr. Melanie Collin, a Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Pulmonologist said.

Earlier in November, the Reuters news service reported executives at Juul knowingly designed its product to be as addictive as possible, ignoring warnings about the explicit danger to young people.

But President Trump, who in September, promised to curb the epidemic of teen vaping by banning all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, has apparently backed away from the proposed ban, reportedly because of industry political pressure.

“What we have seen is foot dragging, retreat from commitment, broken promises,” Blumenthal said.

The health and nutrition bureau of the Connecticut Department of Education conducted their own survey of high school kids and found that the flavors are a big factor.

“Over 40% of students tried these e-cigarette products, these vaping products, because of the flavors that they are offered in,” said John Frassinelli of the State Department of Education Bureau Chief for Health, Nutrition and Family Services.

On Oct. 1, it became illegal to sell e-cigarettes to anyone under age 21 in Connecticut and vaping was banned on all school property. It’s too early to tell if that is having any impact.

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