In response to the youth vaping epidemic, President Trump — at the urging of first lady Melania Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump — announced he wanted to ban candy, fruit, and mint e-cigarettes. His outlook changed after White House and campaign officials told him this could cause him to lose the votes of people who own vape shops and those who use the products.
A Trump adviser told The Washington Post on Sunday that on Nov. 4, Trump refused to sign a “decision memo” about the ban, because he was worried about the repercussions. A news conference was set for the next day, with officials prepared to say the flavored e-cigarettes would be off the market within 30 days, but Trump was spooked by what he heard from his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who said a ban could hurt his chances in battleground states.
“He didn’t know much about the issue and was just doing it for Melania and Ivanka,” a senior administration official told the Post. It’s unclear if he will come up with a new policy.
After Trump first mentioned the ban, angry vapers took to social media, tweeting their thoughts on the matter along with the hashtag #IVapeIVote. While the move may please pro-vaping advocacy groups, anti-tobacco activists aren’t ready to give up just yet. “If the federal government doesn’t take strong action, it’s clear now the states will,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told the Post. “There’s a crisis that needs to be addressed.” Catherine Garcia