American Medical Association seeks total ban on e-cigarette, vaping products

The American Medical Association is calling for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.

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In a news release, the AMA said its House of Delegates has adopted a policy to "urgently advocate" at state and federal levels to ban all e-cigarette and vaping products.

The exception, the AMA said, are products that may be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for "tobacco-cessation purposes" and those available by prescription.

The AMA adopted the stance at its policy meeting this week in San Diego, according to The Associated Press.

According to the AMA, in 2018 more than 3 million high school students were using e-cigarettes, which was a 7% rise from 2017. The AMA also said e-cigarette use in 2018 among middle school students rose 48% from the previous year.

"It's simple, we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people." Patrice Harris, AMA's president, said in the release.

The AMA said concerns were raised after the recent outbreak of lung disease in the United States, which the doctors' group said was linked to vaping.

"The recent lung illness outbreak has alarmed physicians and the broader public health community and shined a light on the fact that we have very little evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products," Harris said in the AMA release.

About 2,170 people have gotten sick from vaping and 42 have died, according to the AP. U.S. and state health officials have traced the illness to people vaping THC and have identified vitamin E oil as a probable culprit, CNBC reported.

"There might be "many problematic substances causing lung injury," Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress last week.

"I would be 100% with the AMA if they were seeking a ban on all tobacco products that are smoked, including e-cigarettes," Jonathan Foulds, a tobacco addiction specialist at Penn State University, told the AP. "But right now, nicotine electronic cigarettes are competing with and replacing the most harmful legal product in this country."

“It would be a mistake for adult smokers and their families to listen to these misguided prohibitionists, as the evidence continues to indicate that adult smokers who switch to nicotine vaping products greatly improve their health,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, told the AP.

Juul Labs, the nation's largest e-cigarette maker, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP.

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