WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The Trump administration must include mint and menthol in any plan to halt sales of flavored e-cigarette products, more than 50 health and advocacy groups said Tuesday.

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They were responding to media reports that the administration could exempt mint and menthol, CNN reported.

The ban on flavored e-cigarette products would be “weakened” by such an exception, 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. 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,” the letters stated.

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).

They noted that FDA data shows that mint or menthol flavors are used by nearly 64% of U.S. high school students, up from 51.2% in 2018 and 42.3% in 2017, CNN reported.

A policy on flavored e-cigarette products has yet been finalized by the Food and Drug Administration.

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