Trump Backs Off Potentially Catastrophic Ban
President Changes Course On Proposed Federal Flavor Ban
Vaping has seen a turbulent couple of months following reports of illnesses linked to illicit marijuana cartridges being misattributed to e-cigarettes. But what did far more damage is was the following wave of regulatory crackdown that ensued. After months of deliberation and various meetings with public health officials and representatives of the vaping industry, President Donald Trump has backed away from his administration’s initial proposal of banning all flavored vapor products, including mint and menthol.
In early November, the President refused to sign off on a memo that would have set his administration’s flavor ban in motion that was proposed only two months prior. Everything was in place for the ban to take effect. The Food and Drug Administration had laid out the regulatory framework and officials were ready to announce the order for all flavored vapor products to be removed from the market within 30 days.
The President said that he didn’t want to move forward with the ban because he feared it might lead to job losses, a Trump Adviser stated speaking on the condition of anonymity. White House and campaign officials note that the President was concerned the ban may hurt his reelection prospects, and that job losses connected to the ban would mar his ability to trumpet economic growth.
The aggressive backlash to the proposed flavor ban by the vaping community and industry may have directly influenced the President’s decision to reverse course. The President directly witnessed protests organized by the American Vaping Association at the Capitol, and campaign advisers warned him about trending social media topics such as #VapeBan and #IVapeIVote.
President Changes Course
November 4th, the night before a morning news conference, the President refused to sign a one-page “decision memo” that would have effectively set his administration’s proposed federal ban on flavored vapor products in effect. The President privately stated he didn’t want to move forward with the ban he once proudly backed, largely lobbied by his wife and daughter, out of fear the ban would lead to significant job losses.
The President was concerned that these job losses and the angering of single-issue vape-voters might have hurt him in key battleground states in the upcoming election. In addition, these job losses would directly contradict his ability to trumpet economic growth as a key topic on the campaign trail.
White House and campaign officials have stated that the backlash against the proposed ban directly influenced the President’s decision to back away from it. The President witnessed protestors at industry-organized events in the capital and was directly briefed by his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, that the backlash was so significant the ban may cost him in battleground states.
Trump grew agitated with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who had initially taken the lead on enacting the ban. This led to the President changing course on it despite the regulatory groundwork already being laid out by the FDA with officials ready to implement the ban.
Facts About Vaping
We currently face a global smoking epidemic that currently impacts over 1 billion people around the world. Figures from the CDC estimates that there are 38 million smokers in the United States alone, 16 million of whom currently suffer from smoking-related diseases.
While anti-vaping activists claim otherwise, current data shows that vaping is an incredibly useful smoking cessation device. Research conducted by University College London found that vaping helped almost 70,000 British smokers quit in a single year.
Vaping may, in fact, be the single greatest tool we have to combat the smoking epidemic. A study from the University of Louisville found vaping to be the most effective smoking cessation device available, even more than prescription options or going cold-turkey.
In addition to being a proven and effective smoking cessation aid, research repeatedly demonstrates the reduced harm vaping poses compared to smoking. A landmark study conducted by Public Health England found vaping to be 95% safer than smoking, a figure the country’s top health agency has repeatedly stood behind.
The President backing away from his administration’s proposed federal ban on flavored vapor products is a major victory for both the vaping industry and community. This move continues a trend of positive momentum for vaping, following several judicial challenges to state and local vaping bans as well as several lawmakers defiantly coming out in defense of vaping.
Any influence the vaping industry and community had on the President’s decision helps showcase the power of organized civic engagement. Social media campaigns and rallies throughout the country helped to showcase the unity of vapers and the impact vaping has had on their lives.
While this is a significant victory for vaping, it is crucial for the industry and community not to become complacent. There are still several state and local bans actively being challenged in court, while we are moving in a better direction than before there is still plenty of work to be done.
How do you feel about the President backing away from banning vaping? Do you think this will make a big difference for the community moving forward? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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