In September, President Donald Trump considered banning non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes due to ongoing vaping epidemic across the United States.
He said, “We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it. We can’t allow people to get sick. People are dying.”
However, two months later, Trump has pulled back his proposal to ban flavored vaping products due to pressure from his political advisors and legislators, while saying he still would want to go deeper into the issue.
While traveling to Kentucky for a political rally on November 4, Trump was warned by the advisors about “political repercussions” due to restrictions on e-cigarettes, according to The Washington Post.
The Trump administration’s proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes had massive support from people, as the ongoing epidemic has affected many teenagers, with a rambling outbreak of serious lung injuries and deaths caused by vaping.
The CDC reported that vaping-related lung injury affected more than 2,000 people and killed 40, with a majority the people reported to have vaped products containing THC, a psychostimulant found in marijuana that gets you high.
The e-cigarette industry has become the target of criticism for enticing children and teenagers to use their products. Juul, the largest e-cig seller in the United States, had taken most of its flavored products off the market in the wake of a national flavor ban.
Trump has also decided to follow his political advisers to retreat the issue and meet with more groups.
Last week, he said he would be meeting vaping industry representatives to tighten regulations. He tweeted, “Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma. Children’s health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!”
Before that, Trump’s advisers, including Alex Azar, have been pushing the administration to look into the matter and take action, as parents, schools and public health experts are extremely concerned about the increased use of vaping products among teens. Azar, who is the Secretary of Health and Human Services, had told the president “more than one-fourth of high school students reported vaping e-cigarettes within the previous 30 days, according to this year’s survey of tobacco use among youths.”