Flavored e-cigarette ban stalls in White House: report

Flavored e-cigarette ban stalls in White House: report
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President Trump has postponed his plan to ban flavored e-cigarette products after listening to advisers wary of political fallout, The New York Times reported Monday

Last week, Trump tweeted that he would be meeting with industry representatives, following his September announcement that his administration would start crafting a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarette products in an effort to address rising youth vaping rates.

But a senior official told the Times no meeting had been scheduled. One adviser who spoke to the president recently told the newspaper that the president had been overwhelmed by other issues, including the public impeachment hearings, and had been distracted from deciding on what to do about the proposed ban. 

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Allies for the vaping industry are also warning Trump that the issue could cost him support in battleground states in 2020, the Times noted. Industry allies reportedly showed a poll commissioned by John McLaughlin, one of the Trump campaign pollsters, for Vapor Technology Association to senior White House officials and Trump’s campaign manager, Brad ParscaleBradley (Brad) James ParscaleMORE

The poll surveyed registered voters in battleground states who voted and showed negative results for Trump if he went ahead with his proposed ban, the Times reported.

Trump’s advisers are split on the issue, the newspaper added.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump and the administration "are committed to responsibly protecting the health of children."

"At this time, we are in an ongoing rulemaking process, and I will not speculate on the final outcome," he added in a statement. 

Public health experts and advocates have called for the federal government to ban flavored vapes for years, warning that e-cigarettes have erased years of progress in reducing youth smoking rates. Advocates argue that the flavored products are appealing to teenagers and are getting a new generation addicted to nicotine.

The Centers for Disease Control reported more than 2,000 cases of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, including 42 deaths, as of Nov. 13.

--Updated at 9:10 a.m.