Sep 11, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 485 words, a 2 minute read.

1 big thing: Fear and vaping in our schools

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Prohibition is making a comeback to stop the youths from vaping — and everyone from public schoolteachers to the medical community to the Trump family seems on board.

  • Today, President Trump unexpectedly called reporters into the Oval Office where he — flanked by First Lady Melania Trump — said he was exploring a ban on most flavors of e-cigarettes, the most popular brand being Juul.

Why it matters: Today's youth radiate promising statistics on public health — they're smoking less tobacco, using fewer drugs, experiencing lower rates of teenage pregnancy and consuming less alcohol — but vaping is a growing concern.

  • So schools are cracking down: "Thousands of schools across the country are installing sensors in bathrooms to catch offenders. One school in Alabama has gone as far as to remove bathroom stall doors," Reuters reports.
  • Another district began "requiring students to roll up their sleeves when entering school in an attempt to prevent them from hiding e-cigarettes."

"We simply have to remove these attractive, flavored products from the marketplace until they secure FDA approval," said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar today.

  • As we reported last month, state attorneys general are suing and investigating Juul over its marketing techniques, which were highly influential among the youth.

What they're saying:

  • Trump: “People are dying with vaping. We have to find out the extent of the problem. We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected. ... They're coming home and they're saying, 'Mom, I want to vape!'"
  • On Monday, Melania tweeted that she was "deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children.”

Between the lines: Targeting the flavors, and not the vapor itself, might leave regulators disappointed. Part of the rise of vaping among youths has been the appeal of "vape tricks" videos, which emulate the smoke of cigarettes and marijuana.

Go deeper: Juul's growing kids crisis

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: J. David Ake/AP

Above: A U.S. flag hanging from a steel girder, damaged on 9/11, blows in the breeze at a memorial in Jersey City.

Below: Louis Gonzalez makes a rubbing of his sister's name at the National 9/11 Memorial. Aida Rosario was killed during the attacks.

Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

2. What you missed
  1. Purdue Pharma has tentatively reached the first "global" settlement in the nationwide opioids lawsuit. The deal would reportedly result in the maker of OxyContin entering bankruptcy and the Sackler family owners paying $3 billion over 7 years. Go deeper.
  2. America's sweeping tide of diversity: Since 2010, 96% of all U.S. counties saw declines in shares of white population. Go deeper.
  3. Scientists have found water vapor in the atmosphere of a world about 8 times the mass of Earth. Go deeper.
  4. John Bolton’s departure from the White House has been seen in Israel as a sign of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's weakened standing with Trump. Go deeper.
  5. Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens died today of natural causes at age 91. Go deeper.
3. 1 📱thing

Photo: National Toy Hall of Fame via AP

The smartphone is being considered for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year, the AP reports.

  • The other finalists: Care Bears, the coloring book, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Magic the Gathering, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox cars, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, and the top, per AP.
Mike Allen