Trump Admin to Ban Flavoured Vape Products


Mason Dunleavy, News Editor

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, the Trump administration announced an effort to ban all flavored nicotine e-cigarettes. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary for the Trump administration, made the announcement along with the Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Norman Sharpless. They were also joined by President Trump and First Lady Melania.


“With the president’s support, the Food and Drug Administration intends to finalize a guidance document that would commence enforcement to require that all flavors, other than tobacco flavor, would be removed from the market,” Azar said.


This year has been plagued by vaping related illnesses, both nicotine and marijuana related, but vape companies and activists are raising concerns regarding the ban as it focuses solely on nicotine e-cigs. 


Mike Hogan, a lobbyist for Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, criticized the ban for completely ignoring marijuana vapes. 


“It’s like having salmonella in Romaine lettuce and calling to ban peanut butter. It is literally public health malpractice,” said Hogan.


According to Politico, an early report from Illinois and Wisconsin found that 84% of the cases were related to marijuana vapes, not nicotine.


With the federal ban on marijuana, the FDA is at a standstill. It is up to the 33 states that have legalized either medicinal or recreational marijuana to regulate the sale of vapes. 


There have been over 450 cases and 6 confirmed deaths regarding vaping, most of which have been tied to marijuana vapes. Vitamin E is currently being investigated as the culprit in marijuana vapes. 


Activists are quick to point out the sudden ban on e-cigarette flavors may push users towards traditional cigarettes. The stock market saw some changes with Atria, the new majority holder of Juul, a popular nicotine vaping company, falling one percent and traditional tobacco companies gaining one – two percent on Wednesday.    


President Trump and his administration have been quick to call vape use among teens an “epidemic,” but they’re slow to denounce traditional tobacco and alcohol companies. Traditional tobacco claims more than 480,000 lives per year in the US, nearly 1,300 daily. Alcohol claims more than 88,000 per year in the US. 


With major e-cigarette companies targeted by the ban, some have pressed concern towards vape users turning towards the blackmarket for their fix. Afterall, it may be blackmarket vapes causing the problems in the first place.