Nov 18, 2019 - Health

Report: Trump in flavored e-cigarette ban backflip

President Donald Trump, with First Lady Melania Trump, speaks to the press in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 11

First lady Melania Trump and President Trump speak to journalists at the White House after announcing his e-cigarette ban plans, Sept. 11. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has backed away from plans to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, the Washington Post first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: It's the latest "chaotic" policy reversal following a dramatic declaration by the president to the contrary, per WashPost, which notes he's made differing statements on gun control, leaving troops in Syria and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

  • The non-tobacco flav0rs that were set to be outlawed are at the center of a dramatic rise in youth vaping that has schools and parents on widespread alert.

Flashback: Trump told reporters in September he planned to enact the ban as he sat alongside first lady Melania Trump, noting that she "feels very strongly" about the issue.

Between the lines: Axios' Alayna Treene reported in September that conservative leaders were "circulating data to White House staff that claims adults who vape will turn" on Trump if he banned such products.

  • WashPost now reports that White House and campaign officials said Trump reversed his decision because of concerns that owners of e-cigarette stores and their customers "might hurt his reelection prospects."
  • Trump wants more research into the issue, the New York Times reports. But he decided against banning the products after "pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists" over concerns of a "potential pushback from his supporters," it said.
  • He also "feared it would lead to job losses," an anonymous Trump adviser told the WashPost.

What they're saying: White House spokesperson Judd Deere told the WashPost, "President Trump and this 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."

Go deeper: GOP allies warn vaping ban will sink Trump in 2020

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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