Trump Set To Meet With Vaping Industry And Public Health Officials
The meeting comes amid a looming federal ban on all flavored vapor products.
Over the past several months, there have been reports of outbreaks of various lung illnesses throughout the United States. While the CDC and FDA have identified illicitly produced cannabis oil cartridges spiked with vitamin E acetate as the source of most outbreaks, initial statements and subsequent news coverage portrayed “vaping” and “e-cigarettes” as potential culprits despite there being no evidence of such.
President Donald Trump is set to meet with representatives from the vaping industry and public health officials ahead of a proposed federal ban on all flavored vapor products controversially, including both mint and menthol. The meeting is said to be focused on creating a mutually beneficial compromise between the industry and public health advocates that allows the industry to continue operating but with additional regulations aimed at protecting teens.
Members of the vaping community have begun descending on and demonstrating in the nation’s capital in support of a beneficial tool that successfully allowed them to quit smoking cigarettes. Public health officials have been pushing for a complete ban on all flavored vapor products, although they appear to be willing to compromise on regulations that achieve the goal of reducing youth access to vapor products.
Since his administration’s announcement of a complete federal ban on all flavored vapor products, Trump has slowly walked back away from this initial proposal. The President appears to be interested in other regulations that reduce youth access without restricting adult smoker’s access, such as raising the minimum age of purchase for vapor products to 21.
Mutually Beneficial Compromise
On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he will meet with representatives from the vaping industry, as well as medical professionals and state representatives, to come up with a solution to “the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma.” The meeting between these various groups is said to be focused on “Children’s health & safety, together with jobs.”
The announcement comes following a proposal in September by his administration to ban the sale of all flavored vapor products, including controversial holdouts mint and menthol. Following this announcement, the President faced criticism from the vaping industry and advocates noting the major potential economic and public health ramifications of such a move.
Some conservative analysts have pointed to preliminary polling and other data showing that the President’s initial anti-vaping stance may be a potential issue for his reelection campaign. They point to hundreds of thousands of single-issue vape voters living in pivotal swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida.
Regardless, members of the vaping industry and community remain hopeful that Trump is open to hearing their position and potentially changing his stance, as he has already shown in his messaging as the ban continues to approach. “At the moment, we are cautiously optimistic that President Trump has heard our voice, and there’s room for reasonable compromise that protects both adults and youth,” said Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association.
Truth About Vaping
Current data shows that public health officials’ concerns of a teenage vaping “epidemic” appear to be overblown and not based on facts. Research published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research found that vaping is no more of a gateway to teen smoking than alcohol.
In addition, research shows that even teens who do try vaping rarely end up taking it up habitually. A study by Action on Smoking and Health featuring over 60,000 teenage participants found that as few as 0.1% to 0.5% of teens who even try vaping actually end up doing so regularly.
Despite the prevalence of misinformation, current research shows vaping is a remarkably beneficial smoking cessation tool. Research published in the journal Addiction found that vaping helped between 50,000 to 70,000 British smokers quit in just 2017 alone.
In addition to being an effective smoking cessation device, current data also shows that vapor products pose a significantly reduced harm to users compared to tobacco products. In fact, research published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences discovered that vapers have a staggering 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer than smokers.
President Trump’s meeting between the vaping industry and public health officials may be a glimmer of hope in a sea of concern as his administration’s proposed federal ban on flavored vapor products approaches. Conservative analysts have shared data with the administration noting the negative impact on adult smokers, potential thousands of job losses, and influence the ban may have on single-issue vape voters in the upcoming election.
The push against the federal ban appears to have gained traction, hence the upcoming meeting between these various groups and the softening of the administration’s initial proposal. We also have yet to see any final guidance by the FDA on vaping regulations, which is another promising sign for the industry.
Despite the recent upturn in the overall climate surrounding vaping, members of the industry and community must continue to push back against overzealous regulation that may directly impact their lives. The pressure put on by anti-vaping activists against the administration is directly responsible for this shift in momentum, it is pivotal now more than ever to remain vigilant in this fight to protect vaper’s rights and freedoms.
What are your feelings about the upcoming meeting between the vaping industry and public health officials? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of vaping? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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