Trump Vaping

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, left, and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless speak with reporters after a meeting about vaping with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

E-cigarette users may no longer vape the taste of strawberry, mint or honey. 

President Donald Trump announced a proposal today that would ban e-cigarette flavors except tobacco through the Food and Drug Administration, according to the Associated Press

Trump cited an increase in underage vaping as the reason for the ban. First Lady Melania Trump recently tweeted concerns over underage vaping. 

The proposal came after a sixth person in the U.S. died Wednesday in Kansas from lung disease caused by vaping, USA Today reported. 

Stephanie Guadagnoli, a 22-year-old employee of Escape 2 Vape, at 7327 NW 4th Blvd., said the business will have to remove a large portion of its inventory if the ban is implemented. The vape shop’s most popular flavors are strawberry hibiscus and blue raspberry rock candy, which cost $24.99 for a 60 milliliter bottle. 

“It’s going to affect Americans because they’re going to quit vaping and start smoking again, which is exactly what we didn’t want them to do,” she said. “I think it’s really going to hurt our business.”

The proposal announced by Trump officials would only apply to nicotine vaping products, which are regulated by the FDA, according to the AP. Little to no research on the long term effects of vaping exist.

Federal health data shows 1 in 4 high school students say they vape in 2019, which is an increase from 1 in 5 students in last year. The U.S. Surgeon General called vaping and e-cigarette use among young people as an “epidemic.”  

Victoria Gibney, the vice chair of Tobacco Free Alachua, a community partnership that aims to reduce the use and effects of tobacco within the county, said she supports the ban, but that it shouldn’t stop there.

“If there is this desire at the federal level to curtail vaping among youth, then there should be a federal law to raise the legal sales age from 18 to 21,” she said. 

Gibney said big tobacco, which invests in the vaping industry, uses flavored products to initiate smoking habits of consumers instead of helping them quit. 

“I am very hopeful that if we are successful in removing flavored vaping products from the market, that the industry will be less successful in attracting new users,” she said.