House Democratic chairman demands answers from Trump admin on vaping flavor ban

House Democratic chairman demands answers from Trump admin on vaping flavor ban
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A House Democratic committee chairman wants answers from the Trump administration about whether the ban on e-cigarette flavors will ever happen.

Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Virginia moves to suspend Medicaid work rules | Powerful House panel sets 'Medicare for All' hearing | Hospitals sue over Trump price rule | FDA official grilled on vaping policy FDA official dodges question on future of Trump administration's vaping flavors ban Oversight Subcommittee to question FDA tobacco director over status of Trump's vaping ban MORE (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter Monday to the White House and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding to know the status of the promised vaping-flavor guidance.

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Krishnamoorthi’s letter follows numerous reports that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE has backed off his pledge to remove all flavored vaping products from the market after pushback from the vaping industry and political advisers.

“The strong promises made by the President and his Administration to address the youth vaping epidemic were incredibly encouraging. Now, however, the delay in finalizing the Administration's compliance policy raises deep concerns,” Krishnamoorthi wrote.

Two months ago, President Trump and the administration’s top health officials sat in the Oval Office and announced their intent to clear the market of every flavor of e-cigarettes except for tobacco.

At the time, Trump cited a massive spike in teen vaping and the spread of a mysterious vaping-linked illness that has now sickened more than 2,000 people across the country and resulted in 40 deaths.

The White House Office of Management and Budget completed regulatory review of a proposed rule about “electronic nicotine delivery systems” on Nov. 4, and canceled meetings with public health advocates as well as pro-vaping groups. 

But the rule was never published. Krishnamoorthi noted that under normal practice, when the White House regulatory agency completes its review, it sends the action back to the relevant federal agency, and the agency promptly publishes the final action. 

However, “an extraordinary 11 days have passed since [the White House] appears to have completed its review, and FDA has still not published a final compliance policy,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Krishnamoorthi said that unless the policy “has entered irregular channels,” it should be sitting with either the White House regulatory office or the FDA. 

“A comprehensive flavor ban is needed. Teenage vaping is an epidemic, and the American people want to know where this policy stands,” Krishnamoorthi wrote.