Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The American Medical Association has called for a total ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products that have not been approved as cessation tools by the Food and Drug Administration.
In a statement Tuesday, the AMA said it is urging all levels of government to ban the sale and distribution of all e-cigarette and vaping products unless sold by prescription to aid in the quitting of smoking tobacco.
The influential doctors group also called for studies into the effectiveness of these products on tobacco cessation and other potential drug and non-drug treatment strategies for minors addicted to nicotine. It also urged for policies to persuade retail pharmacies to immediately end the sale of tobacco products and for the adoption of diagnostic codes for e-cigarette and vaping associated illnesses.
"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 consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products," AMA President Patrice A. Harris said. "It's simple -- we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people and that's why we are calling for an immediate ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products from the market."
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 42 deaths and over 2,170 cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products in the United States.
"With the number of young people using e-cigarettes spiking, it is not only critical that there is research into nicotine addiction treatments for this population, but it is imperative that we continue efforts to prevent youth from ever using nicotine," Harris said.
The call for action comes amid a renewed push for President Donald Trump to follow through on a statement he made in September to ban the sale of all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes that he has recently walked back.
On Tuesday, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America and others, sent a letter to Trump urging him to make the ban "without delay."
That letter followed one sent by more than 60 health organizations on Monday to the president, urging for the ban as it will play "a critical role in reversing the youth e-cigarette epidemic and preserve the health and well-being of our nation's children."