Trump defends push to ban flavored e-cigarettes: Let's 'keep young children from Vaping!'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Castro ‘got the facts wrong’ McCabe’s counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Houston debate MORE defended his push to ban flavored e-cigarettes, saying the products could be harmful to children despite them being an alternative for some to smoking.

“While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let’s get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping!” he tweeted Friday evening.

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The Trump administration announced this week that it would seek to ban all nontobacco flavors of e-cigarettes amid a spike in teen vaping and a series of deaths over vaping-related lung illness. 

“We can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “People are dying with vaping, so we’re looking at it very closely.” 

The Food and Drug Administration is working on compiling final guidance to implement the ban, but Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said it will take several weeks to develop. 

“Kids are getting access to these products despite our best efforts at enforcement … they’ve been going at it so we simply have to remove these attractive flavored products from the marketplace until they’ve secured FDA approval if they can,” Azar said.

Youth vaping has spiked in the past year, with teens largely drawn to sweet and fruit-flavored e-cigarette pods available in stores.

The CDC announced Thursday it has identified 380 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease that are associated with vaping that span 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Six people in six different states have died from lung diseases linked to e-cigarette use. 

The move has drawn applause from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. 

“With an e-cigarette epidemic in our schools, this action is long overdue but welcome,” said Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Overnight Health Care: Juul’s lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Trump administration releases 0M in military aid to Ukraine MORE (D), whose state recently reported a vaping-related death.

“We are making it clear in the United States of America that we know that vaping targets kids,” Durbin added. “I salute the administration for its leadership.”