WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a ban on all e-cigarettes and vaping products not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.
The move is in response to a sharp rise in youth e-cigarette use and an outbreak of more than 2,000 illnesses and 40-plus deaths caused by vaping-related lung illness.
"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 health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products," AMA president Dr. Patrice 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," Harris said in a news release from the group.
Besides preventing kids from ever using nicotine, Harris said it's "critical that there is research into nicotine-addiction treatments for this population."
The ban on e-cigarettes and vaping products was one of a number of anti-nicotine policies adopted at a recent AMA meeting in San Diego.
Doctors, residents and medical students also called for funding of research to assess the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarette and vaping products in helping people quit smoking cigarettes, and a study of drug and non-drug treatments for nicotine addiction in young people.
Pharmacies should also stop selling tobacco products, the group said.
In the past, the AMA has urged media companies to reject advertising that markets e-cigarette products to young people and supported laws making 21 the minimum age to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
"Since declaring e-cigarette use and vaping an urgent public health epidemic in 2018, the AMA has pushed for more stringent policies to help protect our nation's young people from the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine use," Harris said.
"For decades, we have led the public health fight to combat the harmful effects of tobacco products, and we will continue to support policies and regulations aimed at preventing another generation from becoming dependent on nicotine," Harris concluded.
The American Lung Association has more on e-cigarettes.