1. Wide shot of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"We have a problem in our country. It's a new problem, it's a problem nobody really thought about too much a few years ago and it's called vaping, especially vaping as it pertains to innocent children. And they're coming home and they're saying, 'Mom I want to vape.' And the parents don't know too much about it and nobody knows too much about it but they do know it's causing a lot of problems. And we're going to have to do something about it. One of the words and one of the reasons we're meeting today is to let you know that it's out there and we want to have parents understand that we're studying it very carefully. It's again, very new and potentially very bad. There have been deaths and there have been a lot of other problems. People think it's an easy solution to cigarettes but it's turned out that it has its own difficulties."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"Not only is it a problem overall but really specifically with respect to children. We're getting some stories that we don't want to hear and we may very well have to do something very, very strong about it."
4. Wide cutaway of Trump in Oval Office
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary:
"Currently about 8 million adults use these cigarettes but five million children are using e-cigarettes. This is exceptionally harmful to our children. An entire generation of children risk becoming addicted to nicotine because of the attractiveness, appealability and availability of these vaping products. So with the president's support, the Food and Drug Administration intends to finalize a guidance document that would commence enforcement to require that all flavors other than tobacco flavor would be removed from the market."
6. Wide cutaway
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"We want to get to the bottom of a very unusual situation. It's so new and it's become so big so fast and it could be a potential very severe problem. So Commissioner, you know what to do, you know what to do and it's something that frankly should have been looked into a few years ago in a much more advanced way. It wasn't. And we have something that will be very interesting to see what turns up. But you'll be able to report back in the fairly near future because you've done a lot of work on this and we'll see what happens. OK? Thank you very much."
President Donald Trump said Wednesday his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes to combat a recent surge in underage vaping.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said vaping has become such a problem that he wants parents to be aware of what's happening.
"We want to have parents understand that we're studying it very carefully. It's again, very new and potentially very bad," Trump said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters that his agency and the Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to remove all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco, from the market.
It will take several weeks to develop the proposed flavor restrictions, which will be subject to public input before taking effect.
Trump's comments on vaping, the first of his presidency, come as health authorities investigate hundreds of breathing illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
No single device, ingredient or additive has been identified, though many cases involve marijuana vaping devices.
The proposal announced by Trump officials would only apply to nicotine vaping products, which are regulated by the FDA.
The FDA has had the authority to ban vaping flavors since 2016, but has resisted calls to take that step.
Instead, the agency previously said it wanted to study the role of flavors in vaping products, including whether they help adult smokers quit traditional cigarettes.
But parents, politicians and health advocates have increasingly called for a crackdown on flavors, arguing that they are overwhelmingly to blame for a recent surge in underage vaping by U.S. teens.
A ban on flavors would represent a huge blow to the vaping industry, including companies like Juul, which has grown into a multibillion dollar business by selling mint, fruit and dessert flavored-nicotine products.