People take part in a rally at the steps of City Hall after New York City Council. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued a ban on Thursday on fruit and mint-flavored vaping cartridges like the pods made by Juul, but with exemptions for tobacco and menthol.

Why it matters: The ban is meant to curb e-cigarette use among children who have been attracted to cartridge vapes due to their flavors, cheap price and concealing features of size and small vape clouds.

"The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes. HHS is taking a comprehensive, aggressive approach to enforcing the law passed by Congress, under which no e-cigarettes are currently on the market legally.”
— Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar

The big picture: The Trump administration is keeping vape shop owners in mind with this new rule, which will not apply to the sale of flavored vials for tank vaping systems, the New York Times reports. President Trump has previously expressed concern for business owners.

  • Juul already announced months ago that it would no longer sell flavored cartridges in-store and online in anticipation of a federal ban.
  • The FDA said it still could authorize non-menthol or tobacco flavors if it meets "applicable standards."
  • Companies that don't cease sale of these products within 30 days risk FDA "enforcement actions," according to the new policy.

The other side: Heads of several major public health organizations who had met with President Trump in November said they were "disappointed" in the new guidelines and accused the administration of siding with industry and lobbyists.

  • On a media call Thursday, presidents and CEOs of physician and medical associations expressed concern that children will migrate to menthol and tobacco cartridges or that more will start using tank systems.
  • Matthew Meyers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: "There is an illusion out there that vape shops don’t allow people of a certain certain age into them. ... More kids who purchase e-cigarettes today purchase them from vape shops and they have the worst track record for selling to underage youth. There’s no reason to think that’s going to change."
  • Meredith Berkman, co-founder of Parents Against Vaping E-cigs: "We sat in that meeting, all of us, and we heard from the president just how much he cared and how much he wanted to protect our kids. ... This really feels like a betrayal."

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Updated 21 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers" and the offices of his newspaper raided, said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital on Monday.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law — which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 19,861,683 — Total deaths: 731,326 — Total recoveries — 12,115,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The findings in the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S., with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing Friday that school districts in the state can reopen in the fall amid lower coronavirus transmission rates.