Trump vaping ban could be back on the table

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A possible ban on flavored e-cigarettes appears to be back on the table, as the White House is currently reviewing a new guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) began reviewing the guidance from the FDA on Dec. 26. 

The administration finished reviewing an earlier version of the guidance in November, but it was never published. The guidance was quietly removed from the OMB’s regulatory website, and the administration never gave an explanation.

President Trump has wavered for months about whether to follow through on a promise to clear the market of every flavor of e-cigarettes except tobacco. He reportedly scrapped the earlier policy after being warned of potential political consequences. 

During a tense meeting at the White House with vaping industry representatives and anti-tobacco advocates in November, Trump signaled he was walking back the long-delayed proposal amid concerns from campaign advisers and pro-vaping groups over job losses.

Outside groups have also argued that flavors are necessary to help adults stop smoking traditional cigarettes. 

Bipartisan lawmakers have been calling on Trump not to completely back down from his pledge to ban flavors, but legislation from vaping critic Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) that would have banned e-cigarette flavors and apply taxes to the devices was not included in the year-end funding bill.

It’s not clear what restrictions the new guidance contains. Administration officials have hinted that certain flavors such as mint and menthol could be exempt from any potential ban, as could sales at independent vape shops. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Tags Donald Trump e-cigarettes Mitt Romney vaping

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