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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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.