Nov 1, 2019

Scoop: Trump ready to ban vape flavors except tobacco, menthol

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

Mass. becomes first state to outlaw flavored tobacco and vaping products

Protestors against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's vaping ban on the front steps of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill into law on Wednesday for a sweeping ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes.

Why it matters: The Act Modernizing Tobacco Control law is the first of its kind prohibiting these products permanently and on a statewide basis. The ban on flavored vaping products will be effective immediately, while the outlawed sale of menthol cigarettes starts June 1, 2020 in the wake of the vaping epidemic, resulting in illnesses and deaths across the country.

Go deeper: Vaping and vitamin E acetate: What we know

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

"Significant increase" in teens vaping menthol or mint flavored e-cigarettes

Juul flavors, mango, mint and fruit medley. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Middle school and high school students are vaping mint or menthol flavors almost as much as fruit-flavored e-cigarette products, a new investigation by JAMA shows.

Reality check: The Trump administration is expected to announce this week a finalized ban on almost all flavored vaping products, but it won't include tobacco and menthol flavors.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019

Trump worries ban on flavored vape products could boost illegal sales

President Trump speaks during a listening session on youth vaping of e-cigarettes. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

During a televised meeting at the White House on Friday with special interest groups from the health community, President Trump expressed concern as to whether flavored vaping products would "come here illegally" if his administration banned them.

Why it matters: The meeting comes two months after Trump announced intentions to propose a nationwide ban, which has since stalled. Several reports indicate that some conservative leaders rallied against the ban, arguing the president could lose votes in key states.

Go deeperArrowNov 23, 2019