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Bloomberg vows to ban flavored e-cigarettes if elected president
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday said he would ban the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes and raise taxes on traditional cigarettes if he wins the White House.
Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said he would also push to reduce the amount of nicotine in traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to “nonaddictive levels.”
Tobacco control has been one of Bloomberg’s top priorities as a philanthropist and as a politician.
Bloomberg Philanthropies announced in September a $160 million initiative to “end the youth e-cigarette epidemic.”
An estimated 27.5 percent of high school students said they used e-cigarettes in the past month, according to a recent study conducted by government researchers.
Advocates blame fruity vaping flavors that they argue are appealing to kids.
While President Trump said in September he would clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last month the ban would include pod-based products, like those sold by Juul, with exemptions for menthol flavors and open-tank systems that are typically found in vape shops.
But advocates and Democrats, including Bloomberg, argue the ban doesn’t go far enough.
“President Trump has mastered the art of the broken promise — on issues from health care to gun safety — and e-cigarettes have been no exception,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
“We need a leader who will stand up to the industry and protect our children’s health.”
Bloomberg’s plan would also require that health insurance companies cover counseling and smoking cessation medicines for smokers trying to quit without copays or limits on treatment.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, said earlier this month he would halt the sale of vaping products until more research is done.
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