He did the right move…
President Donald Trump, with the first lady at his side, announced on Wednesday that his administration is shifting to prohibit flavored e-cigarette products following the recent death of a sixth individual from a vapor-related lung illness.
“We are looking at vaping strongly, it’s very dangerous, children have died and people have died,” Trump told reporters. “We’re going to have some very strong rules and regulations.”
The president said kids are coming home from school and saying, “Mom, I want to vape.”
Trump met with Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Ned Sharpless, Food and Drug Administrator, who accompanied him and the Oval Office’s first lady, to address the suggested regulation, which they said may not be completed for several weeks.
The FDA said the move would mean “clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products.”
Earlier this week, Melania Trump tweeted about vaping, saying she is “deeply concerned about the growing epidemic.”
“That’s how the first lady got involved,” Trump said. “She’s got a son … together, that’s beautiful young man and she feels very strongly about it.”
I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth. @HHSGov
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) September 9, 2019
The FDA is responsible for controlling e-cigarettes that have acquired popularity lately. The CDC recommended individuals using e-cigarettes, also recognized as vaping pens, against them. Azar said the FDA is planning to finalize a guidance document to begin allowing non-tobacco products to be removed from the industry as kids are particularly drawn to those flavors.
“Vaping is becoming a big business as I understand it, like a giant business in a short period of time. We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so effected,” Trump said.
“A lot of people think vaping is wonderful and it is great. It is not wonderful. That’s one thing I think we can say, definitely.”
How much teeth this announcement would effectively have is uncertain. The FDA has already released warnings about the use of flavors to target youth and businesses have said they have created modifications to solve the issues of the FDA.
The suggested step by the FDA received heavy opposition from the head of the American Vaping Association, a non-profit organization that promotes reasonable regulation of vaping products but is not a spokesman for trade or business.
“We are deeply disappointed in the President’s decision to take direction from anti-vaping activists like Mike Bloomberg by attempting to ban the sale of nearly every vaping product on the market. A ban will remove life-changing options from the market that have been used by several million American adults to quit smoking,” said Gregory Conley, the AVA president.
“In the history of the United States, prohibition has never worked. It didn’t work with alcohol. It hasn’t worked with marijuana. It won’t work with e-cigarettes. The President should meet with just one of the millions of American voters who have used flavors to quit smoking before moving forward on this draconian approach to regulation and public policy,” he said.
“Destroying thousands of small businesses and sending ex-smokers back to smoking will do nothing to stop drug dealers from selling contaminated THC cartridges. A flavor ban will only lead to the creation of yet another multi-billion-dollar black market that will operate with zero safety controls,” he said.