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Vaping products, including flavored vape liquids and pods, at a store in Queens, N.Y. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to finalize a ban on almost all flavored vaping products, with exemptions only for tobacco and menthol flavors, according to sources familiar with the plan. An announcement is expected next week.

Why it matters: Conservatives, including President Trump's 2020 campaign manager, had urged Trump to back away from such a sweeping crackdown, but sources said the president was briefed by senior health officials on the plan at a White House meeting yesterday.

  • Senior officials expect the Food and Drug Administration to issue its long-awaited guidance next week, but as with any decision, caution that it's possible Trump could change his mind at the last minute.

Details: The new rules will likely prohibit the sale of all flavored vaping products except tobacco and menthol flavors.

  • Senior health officials believe that those flavors are more popular with adults than with children, and curbing the explosion in youth vaping is the point of this regulatory crackdown.
  • Mint-flavored products would have to come off the market, according to sources familiar with the planning.
  • White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere declined to comment for this story.

Where it stands: The administration said in September that a total flavor ban — with the single exception of tobacco — was coming.

  • But that plan met with sharp pushback from conservatives. Trump's own campaign manager, Brad Parscale, circulated polling data showing that a vaping ban could hurt Trump's reelection chances. But it doesn't appear that Parscale's efforts had much impact on the president's decision. The first lady has been a passionate advocate for cracking down on youth vaping.
  • Juul, by far the market leader in vaping sales, already stopped selling flavored products, both online and in stores, except for tobacco, menthol and mint.

Go deeper

VA first federal agency to require COVID vaccines for employees

A medical doctor gives the thumbs-up sign to a COVID-19 patient who is no longer using a respirator at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York City. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday it would require its frontline health care workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus within the next two months, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The VA is the first federal agency to mandate that employees receive the vaccine. The decision comes as cases of the Delta variant in the U.S. have increased dramatically.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden: Americans with long-COVID symptoms may qualify for disability resources

President Biden speaking in Arlington, Virginia, on July 23. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Americans experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19 may qualify for disability resources from the federal government, President Biden announced Monday during an event to mark the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Driving the news: The departments of Justice and Health and Human Services released new guidance Monday that categorizes “long COVID" as a physical or mental impairment, entitling people with the illness to discrimination protections under the the ADA.

Study: Get ready for many more record-shattering heatwaves

NASA computer model image of temperature departures from average on June 27 during the Pacific Northwest heat wave. (NASA Earth Observatory)

The recent deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, during which all-time temperature records were shattered by several degrees, is a prologue to what is coming across much of the U.S., Europe and Asia, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The study shows that the rate of climate change is an under-appreciated driver of extreme heat, and that today's quickening pace of warming virtually guarantees more extreme temperature records in coming decades.

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