WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Momentum is growing among lawmakers for a crackdown on the e-cigarette industry after at least six recent deaths have been linked to vaping.
Senators on both sides of the aisle are calling for the immediate withdrawal of all flavored e-cig products. And Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal (D) is urging the FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission to order recalls for any products that can be tampered with.
“The FDA is failing to make these products tamper proof,” Sen. Blumenthal said. “That’s a violation of law, that’s one of the reasons why people are going to the hospital and dying, because there’s tampering that should be prohibited by the FDA and it should crack down on flavors, remove them from shelves of they are flavored with mint or cinnamon or any of these other kinds of appeals to young people not to quit but to begin lifetimes of addiction and disease.”
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to consider an industry-wide recall as they investigate the deaths.
“More young people are becoming addicted,” Romney said. “I think we have to stop and ask, ‘What is the right packaging for these products, to make sure they can’t be tampered with and they can’t have the kind of substances added to them that can be harmful?’ I think we have to ask ourselves, ‘How do we keep our young people from being drawn into these products, the flavors that are sometimes advertised?’ I mean, some of the names are alarming. They’re clearly focused on children, and then now with these sicknesses and these deaths, you say, ‘Should these products be out on the market until we have the kind of testing to find out what the impacts might be?’”
Blumenthal added, “Vaping is now the wild west of the new nicotine addiction era. The playbook of big tobacco is now being duplicated by the vaping companies that are owned by the tobacco companies and leading to lifetimes of addiction and disease.”