Conservative think tank warns of political doom for Trump if vape ban talk persists
For weeks, the vaping community has been nervously awaiting an official announcement by the Trump Administration about an impending flavor ban supposedly designed to curb underage use. It’s a pet project of the First Lady that the president simply cannot ignore, and which was first announced during a White House press conference over two months ago.
Waiting, for many vapers, has been pure agony. For others, it’s only incited greater anger and activism.
As the days and weeks have progressed, Trump appears to be showing more and more signs of wavering. According to the president’s campaign chairman, Brad Parscale, internal polling numbers suggest that implementation of a nationwide flavor ban would likely produce great political pain for the president’s 2020 reelection efforts.
These bad polling numbers only amplify the newsworthiness of multiple press reports like those published in The Washington Post in late October which also urge Trump to rethink his strategies on future vaping regulations and prohibitions. And last weekend, a rally in Washington, DC, hosted by the United Vapers Alliance drew a huge number of pro-vaping protesters holding signs and chanting catch phrases like, “We vape! We vote!” and “Make America vape again!” within full view of the Oval Office.
Americans for Tax Reform: Swing state vapers are crucial to Trump’s reelection
The Saturday rally even caught the attention of Paul Blair of the conservative think tank Americans for Tax Reform. According to an NBC report, Blair now equates the increasingly more aggressive politics of a newly empowered and progressively more irate vaping community to those of second amendment supporters and gun lobbyists. “There are 900,000 vapers who will vote next year in Florida, a state Trump won by less than 113,000 votes,” Blair says. Similar numbers are also being witnessed in the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan.
In a Monday morning tweet following the weekend rally, President Trump seems to be painfully aware of the vaping public’s growing frustrations…and his possible political predicament. In his second tweet of the day at precisely 9 am (the first was “Happy Veterans Day” posted just seconds prior), Trump tweeted, “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. Children’s health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!”
The new tweet is noteworthy because it specifically references jobs issues, of which there are an estimated 200,000 just within the American vapor industry alone. Several of the recent statewide bans initiated through gubernatorial executive orders have been overturned or at least temporarily halted in recent weeks by state and appellate judges who outline similar concerns in their official rulings.
Related Article: Iowa AG blasts Trump flavor ban and national anti-vaping hysteria
Furthermore, during the initial September press conference about a possible presidential ban, Trump seemed to be more largely concerned with “vaping-related deaths” which the CDC has since publicly acknowledged are the direct cause of vaping THC-contaminated, Black Market products. Conventional FDA-regulated, nicotine-based vapes are accountable for precisely zero of the terminal illnesses.
Will Trump change his mind? Perhaps, but he must to do something – anything – to appease a large percentage of the voting population that persistently denounces vaping. In a statement issued to reporters last week on the White House lawn, the president indicated that raising the national vaping age to 21 is also on the table.
Will that be enough of a compromise for anti-vaping activist groups like The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids? Probably not but stay tuned. Rumors of Trump finalizing his vape ban policy by Tuesday afternoon are running rampant on Capitol Hill.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)