“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools, and communities,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
Following a meeting in the Oval Office with Azar and Ned Sharpless, the FDA’s acting commissioner, reporters said that Trump’s reason for the ban comes from his belief that vaping has become a huge business very quickly and there are elements of the practice that need to be sorted out. “A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, is great … It’s really not,” Trump said. “We have to find out the extent of the problems… it’s so new … but we’re going to find out.”
In response, the American Vaping Association said it was disappointed to learn about Trump’s move. “A ban will remove life-changing options from the market that have been used by several million American adults to quit smoking,” the association said.
Last week, the governor of Michigan made the state the first to prohibit sales of flavored e-cigarettes; he applauded Trump’s decision calling it a “bold step.” “This is great news for our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Right now, companies are getting our kids hooked on nicotine by marketing flavors like apple juice, bubble gum, and candy.