CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Only regular tobacco and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes are now allowed.
The White House announced a ban on flavored electronic cigarettes Thursday.
The Trump Administration says it’s part of an effort to stop teenagers from vaping.
Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, says, “The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, says more than 2,500 people have been hospitalized due to using e-cigarette or vaping products.
More than 40 people have died, including one death reported here in South Carolina.
One Trident Health doctor says more people are being hospitalized.
“There are some major lung problems that can come of this,” said Dr. Kenneth Perry, Assistant Facility Medical Director at Trident Health Emergency. “We’ve actually had patients within our own system that have had major ICU stays where the only risk factor they have for how bad their lungs are functioning is actually their e-cigarette.”
He goes on to say that, right now, the medical community doesn’t have the research to know all the risks associated with vaping and e-cigarettes.
“I think from the amount of cases that we’ve seen, that have presented themselves to emergency departments around the country, it needs to be looked at as a much higher risk than we once thought,” Perry said.
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 5 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2019.
The FDA says companies have 30 days to remove the now banned e-cigarette flavors from store shelves.