WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The Trump administration must include mint and menthol in any plan to halt sales of flavored electronic cigarette products, more than 50 health and advocacy groups said Tuesday. The groups were responding to media reports that the administration may exempt mint and menthol, CNN reported.

The ban on flavored e-cigarette products would be “weakened” by such an exemption, according to letters sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and first lady Melania Trump.

“A policy that does not remove all flavored e-cigarettes will not solve the current epidemic of youth e-cigarette use,” the letters stated. “Youth who now use mint and menthol e-cigarettes will continue to do so, and youth who use flavors that are removed from the market will simply switch to mint and menthol.” Groups that signed the letters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The letters also noted that according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, mint or menthol flavors are used by nearly 64 percent of U.S. high school students, up from 51.2 percent in 2018 and 42.3 percent in 2017, CNN reported. A policy on flavored e-cigarette products has yet to be finalized by the FDA.

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