The Trump administration’s plan to ban most flavored vaping products has stalled out, at least for the moment.
Two months ago, President Trump announced he was pursuing the new policy to put a dent in the youth vaping epidemic. The plan was supposed to have been unveiled in a matter of weeks.
But industry pushback and the politics of vaping appear to have derailed that process.
On Sept. 11, when the president announced that he was endorsing a Food and Drug Administration proposal to ban those products, he acknowledged there were economic consequences.
“Vaping has become a very big business as I understand it. A giant business in a very short period of time,” he told reporters at the White House. “But we can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth to be so affected.”
The policy proposal hit just as health officials were investigating lung injuries and deaths among people who vaped. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now say that’s primarily from vaping dubious marijuana products.
But Paul Billings, national senior vice president of public policy at the American Lung Association, says the organization was also focused on the role that flavored e-cigarettes played in teen nicotine addiction.
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Mint, menthol, fruit and candy flavors would all be banned under the original proposal, leaving only tobacco-flavored vaping products. Those would appeal less to teens, though most adults also prefer non-tobacco flavors.
“We were very optimistic, encouraged when the president announced he wanted to clear the markets of all flavored e-cigarettes,” Billings says, noting that these attractive flavors “play such an important role in addicting millions of kids to these products.”
However, Billings’ optimism started to fade in the following weeks when the policy did not appear as