Donald Trump has shocked the nation by reportedly canceling plans to ban the sale of e-cigarette and vaping flavors in an attempt to counter the rising trend of e-cigarette use among teenagers and related lung illnesses.
In September, Trump announced in September his intention to roll out new rules regarding flavored e-cigarettes. The decision was a response to widespread calls to address the wave of mysterious vaping-related illnesses among teens that shook the nation in late summer.
At the time, Trump stated that “we can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected.” He continued, “[vaping] is not a wonderful thing … It’s got big problems. We have to find out the extent of the problem.”
The Center for Disease control recently narrowed down the cause of the nearly 2,000 lung injuries that lead to 40 deaths to vitamin E acetate, a compound found in some THC e-liquid formulations. With the revelation that the lung injuries were only due to a specific subset of often-unregulated THC vaping products, the national outcry was soon overtaken by more pressing issues.
As public pressure to address the waning crisis has faded, Trump has now reportedly backed off the vaping bans. According to the Washington Post, Trump cited concerns about job losses and political fallout stemming from stringent new rules.
Trump announced on November 11th that he would be meeting with various officials and vaping industry experts to “come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma.” It is unclear what Trump’s strategy is moving forward.