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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.

Go deeper

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.

Fed: Rate hikes are near

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve is on track to raise its main target interest rate in mid-March, as Chair Jerome Powell pledged to be "humble and nimble" in adapting policy to a fast-changing economy.

Why it matters: Fed leaders are looking to choke off inflation by raising interest rates in the near future, but keeping its options open for how fast and far the effort will go.

How long it’s taken to confirm Supreme Court justices

Expand chart
Data: Axios research, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court Historical Society; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

It takes a U.S. president an average of 70 days from the date a Supreme Court seat is vacated to nominate a replacement, according to data from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Why it matters: With news outlets reporting liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's plans to retire, Democrats will be looking to confirm President Biden's nominee with enough time to refocus the national political debate ahead of the midterms.

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