Jayne O’Donnell and John Fritze USA TODAY
Published 7:21 PM EST Nov 20, 2019
President Donald Trump will hold a meeting Friday about the use of e-cigarettes by young people and possible regulation, the White House said Wednesday night.
Participants will include advocacy, industry, non-profits, medical associations and state officials.
“As the President has said, there is a serious problem among our youth and their growing addiction to e-cigarettes,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “The policy making process is not stalled – it continues to move forward. This meeting will allow the President and other Administration officials an opportunity to hear from a large group, representing all sides as we continue to develop responsible guidelines that protect the public health and the American people.”
The planned meeting marks a restart of talks once scheduled then abruptly canceled earlier this month. Vaping opponents, including the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, hadn’t given up hope on administration action as they pressed Congress and states to enact bans.
Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Sept. 7 announced a planned ban of all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco and menthol. Such flavored products are attractive to an increasing number of teen users.
Last week, however, when advocates and industry were awaiting the expected ban, Trump appeared to back off saying he would meet with interested parties. The statement came after the Office of Management and Budget cancelled meetings with interest groups.
As of Nov. 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,172 people so far injured and 42 dead. The CDC has linked to the injuries to vitamin E acetate, used as a thickening agent or to dilute THC oil in vape cartridges to make it go further. Tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is the ingredient in cannabis that creates the “high.”