Trump reportedly shelved a ban on flavored e-cigarettes to avoid angering voters

  • Donald Trump reportedly stalled a planned ban on flavored e-cigarettes, intended to combat the rise of teenage vaping, after hearing it could alienate voters and hurt his chances of reelection next year.
  • The president backed off from vaping restrictions after political advisors and lobbyists warned him of potential pushback from his supporters, the New York Times reported.
  • Trump tweeted last week he will meet with vaping, medical, and state representatives to "come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma."
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Donald Trump reportedly stalled a planned ban on flavored e-cigarettes, intended to combat the rise of teenage vaping, after hearing it could alienate voters and hurt his chances of reelection next year.

"We can't have our kids be so affected," the president said in an interview in September. "She's got a son, we together, that is a beautiful young man and she feels very, very strongly about it," he added, referring to his wife, Melania and their teenager, Barron.

However, after political advisers and vaping-industry lobbyists warned him of potential pushback from his supporters, Trump appears to have backed off from vaping restrictions, the New York Times reported.

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A smoker is engulfed by vapours as he smokes an electronic vaping machine during lunch time in central London on August 9, 2017. - World stock markets and the dollar slid Wednesday after US President Donald Trump warned of "fire and fury" in retaliation to North Korea's nuclear ambitions, sending traders fleeing to safe-haven investments. In Europe, equities dived with London losing 0.6 percent, while Frankfurt shed 1.1 percent and Paris fell 1.4 percent. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
File - In this April 16, 2019, file photo, a researcher holds vape pens in a lab at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. Today Juul and hundreds of smaller companies are at the center of a political backlash that threatens to sweep e-cigarettes from stores shelves nationwide as politicians scramble to address two separate public health crises tied to vaping: underage use among teenagers and a mysterious and sometimes fatal lung ailment that affected more than a thousand people. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2019, file photo, electronic cigarette pods are displayed for sale at a shop, in Biddeford, Maine. Today Juul and hundreds of smaller companies are at the center of a political backlash that threatens to sweep e-cigarettes from stores shelves nationwide as politicians scramble to address two separate public health crises tied to vaping: underage use among teenagers and a mysterious and sometimes fatal lung ailment that affected more than a thousand people. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 3: A woman holds up a regulated box mod vaporizer during a "Let Us Vape Not Smoke" rally outside of the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Oct. 3, 2019. Within hours of Governor Charlie Bakers emergency ban last week on vape sales, products that consumers and medical marijuana patients had relied on for years suddenly disappeared from store shelves. Ten days later, the unintended consequences of the countrys strictest anti-vaping measure are coming into focus: customers crossing the border to buy e-cigarettes in New Hampshire, former smokers switching back to cigarettes, sick patients fearfully experimenting with unfamiliar alternatives, and others turning to the illicit market despite the risk of tainted products. Now, the Baker administration is facing a series of lawsuits and protests, part of a growing backlash from critics who insist the hastily conceived ban will ultimately harm, not improve, public health. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
A sign advertises Juul vaping products in Los Angeles, California, September 17, 2019. - New York became the second US state to ban flavored e-cigarettes September 17, following several deaths linked to vaping that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
A sign advertises Juul vaping products in Los Angeles, California, September 17, 2019. - New York became the second US state to ban flavored e-cigarettes September 17, following several deaths linked to vaping that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
Flavored vaping products containing nicotine are seen in a store in Los Angeles, California, September 17, 2019. - New York became the second US state to ban flavored e-cigarettes Tuesday, following several deaths linked to vaping that have raised fears about a product long promoted as less harmful than smoking. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
A man smokes an electronic cigarette inside a vape shop in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2019. (Photo by Alastair Pike / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: E-juice, used in e-cigarette vaporizers, is displayed at Smoke and Gift Shop on June 25, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously, 11-0, to be the first city in the United States to ban e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and devices that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: E-Cigarette vaporizer components are displayed at Smoke and Gift Shop on June 25, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously, 11-0, to be the first city in the United States to ban e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and devices that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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"Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma," he tweeted last week. "Children's health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!"

Trump's advisers deterred him from pursuing the policies during a flight to a political rally in Kentucky this month, spurring him to scrap an announcement on the issue scheduled for the following day, the Times reported. Trump's campaign manager and senior White House officials also reviewed a poll showing a government clampdown on vaping could cost the president in battleground states, the Times said.

More than 5 million young Americans reported smoking e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, and nearly 1 million said they smoke them daily, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Upwards of 2,000 people have fallen ill with vaping illnesses and more than 40 people have died, new government data shows.

Juul Labs, which is under regulatory investigation for allegedly targeting teenagers with its vaping products, has pulled most of its flavors off the market.

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