Nov 23, 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.

Trump compared the ban to 1920s prohibition: “If you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally. That’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget. You just have to look at the history of it. Now, instead of having a flavor that’s at least safe, they’re going to be having a flavor that’s poison.”

  • Meeting attendees who argued against the ban pointed to the more than 2,000 reported cases and 47 deaths due to the vaping illness, which have mostly been connected to black market products with THC, rather than nicotine products.

Still, studies show an overwhelming majority of teens are vaping flavored e-cigarettes.

What to watch: Trump re-established his interest in raising the minimum age for e-cigarette purchases to 21.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.