Oct 2, 2019

Obama officials vetoed FDA ban on flavored vaping products

Flavored vaping products containing nicotine. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The Obama-era FDA tried to ban flavored vaping products in order to protect kids, but White House officials blocked the plan following aggressive lobbying from the vaping industry, according to hundreds of documents obtained by the LA Times.

Why it matters: The evidence suggesting that flavors could have a significant impact on youth vaping was essentially covered up.

  • Flavors enticing to teens — like cotton candy or bubble gum — would have been banned from stores. What ended up happening instead was that by 2018, 4.9 million teens had taken up vaping.

Details: 44 meetings between 100 tobacco and vape advocates and Obama officials occurred between October 2015 and February 2016.

  • These lobbyists were interested in tossing out a draft of the tobacco rule that required the removal of any flavored e-cigarette fluid from the market within 90 days of when the rule took effect.
  • The rule published in May 2016 without any mention of flavored products. Juul sales, which then included flavored vape pods, skyrocketed.

The Obama administration's explanation for pulling the requirement was that vape shops' predicted economic struggles would outweigh the potential health benefits of the ban, the officials told the Times.

The bottom line, per LA Times: Today's youth epidemic is "exactly the kind of crisis the Food and Drug Administration had warned of four years ago."

Go deeper: GOP allies warn vaping ban will sink Trump in 2020

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Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Police block protesters at a rally on May 30 outside the state house on the fourth straight day of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd. Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the U.S. Saturday, amid tense standoffs with police in several cities.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

U.S. cities crack down on protests against police brutality

Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.