President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the federal government will soon announce a new strategy to tackle underage vaping, promising, “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry.”
Trump was vague about what the plan would entail, but suggested “certain flavours” in cartridge-based e-cigarettes would be taken off the market “for a period of time.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration would ban the sale of most flavoured e-cigarettes, such as those sold by Juul and NJOY. E-cigarette pods formulated to taste like tobacco or menthol would still be allowed.
The Journal also reported that tank-based vaping systems, which are less popular among teenagers, would still allow users to custom-mix flavours. The Journal report cited anonymous “people familiar with the matter.”
In September, Trump and his top health officials said they would soon sweep virtually all flavoured e-cigarettes from the market because of their appeal to young children and teens. But that effort stalled after vaping lobbyists pushed back and White House advisers told Trump the ban could cost him votes with adults who vape.
On Tuesday, Trump suggested a ban of flavoured e-cigarettes might be temporary. “Hopefully, if everything’s safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market,” he told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he was hosting a New Year’s Eve party.
“People have died from this, they died from vaping,” the president said. “We think we understand why. But we’re doing a very exhaustive examination and hopefully everything will be back on the market very, very shortly.”
But the FDA had already announced that, starting in May, all e-cigarettes will need to undergo a review. And only those that can demonstrate a benefit for U.S. public health will be permitted to stay on the market.
In Florida, Trump added: “Look, vaping can be good from the standpoint — you look at the e-cigarettes, you stop smoking. If you can stop smoking, that’s a big advantage. So, we think we’re going to get it back on the market very, very quickly.”
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.