A group of U.S. senators want federal regulators to take all pod and cartridge-based e-cigarettes off the market until they can be proven safe, Reuters reported.
The bi-partisan group wrote a letter to the acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Ned Sharpless, urging him to take action after reports of 530 cases of lung disease and eight deaths were tied to vaping.
Senators Dick Durbin, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Merkley, and Richard Blumenthal sent the letter on Friday, Sept. 20 asking for the ban. They wrote cartridge or pod-based systems account for more than 70% of the overall e-cigarette market and are favored by youth.
“Unfortunately, many cartridge-based systems are easily able to be opened and modified, exposing adolescents to the additional dangers associated with refillable, and modifiable, e-liquids,” the letter said, as reported by Reuters.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) also urged the FDA not to make an exception for mint and menthol flavors in the agency’s proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
“I say very strongly we are hearing that the vaping industry, the e-cigarette industry, is lobbying heavily for an exemption for mint- and menthol-flavored,” Krishnamoorthi said in a conference call with journalists, as reported by Reuters.
President Donald Trump also called for a ban on all e-cigarette flavors other than tobacco in an effort to curb the use of e-cigarettes by youth. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said last week that his department would move forward with the ban.
The call from lawmakers comes after hundreds of people have been hospitalized nationwide with vaping-related lung illnesses. The illnesses have claimed the lives of at least 8 people.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against e-cigarette makers JUUL Labs Inc., Blu, NJoy, and more. The lawsuits accuse the companies of targeting youth in their marketing efforts and downplaying the health risks of e-cigarette use.
If you used e-cigarettes and developed lung issues or other health complications, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call 1-800-631-5656 to speak with a member of our legal team today, or use the form on the right-hand side of your screen.