Nov. 22 (UPI) — President Donald Trump said Friday that his administration would propose raising the purchase age of vaping products to 21 years old from 18 after meeting with health experts and representatives for the e-cigarette industry.
“If you don’t give it to them, it is going to come here illegally,” Trump said in opposing an all-out ban. “They could be selling something on a street corner that could be horrible.”
Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway were among those who attended the meeting.
In September, the president, Azar and members of the Food and Drug Administration announced that they were considering a ban on flavored vaping products.
At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not announced any cause of a mysterious new vaping-related lung illness that has now killed 49 people and sickened more than 2,000 in 49 states. Health agencies are now saying part of the vaping lung injury puzzle can be traced to vitamin E acetate, a cutting agent in illicit THC vapes.
Members of the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and American Pediatrics Association recommended banning vaping flavors, but lobbyists for the vaping industry and representing the nonprofit Liberty Coalition told the president that his voters would react poorly to limitations on adult vaping products.
Earlier this week, the American Medical Association called for a ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products that had not been approved by the FDA for smoking cessation.