War on flavored e-cigarettes heats up

As vaping surges across the U.S., particularly among teenagers, the Trump administration is looking into a ban on thousands of non-tobacco flavors such as mint that are currently used in vaping devices in an effort to curb teen behavior. Hundreds of vapers across the U.S. have developed serious lung problems and six have died. Most lung issues have been associated with marijuana vaping devices, although the exact cause is still not determined, according to media reports.

Vaping was first thought to be a way to help smokers shake their addiction to nicotine while lowering secondhand-smoke risks and unpleasant odors, but the idea quickly piqued the interest of the young. A government survey in 2018 showed 20 percent of high schoolers admitting to vaping in the past month, though anecdotally the number is likely much higher.

The government banned flavorings from regular cigarettes in 2009, but the current ban does not pertain to e-cigarettes, and the nicotine inside remains just as addictive, if not more so, because vapers are often ingesting much more than they would from individual cigarettes.