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Trump hints that fruity vaping flavors will be taken off the market

Ann Schmidt

President Trump suggested that some e-cigarette flavors could be taken off the market in order to combat underage vaping.

While vague about details, Trump said  Tuesday the federal government will offer a new strategy to tackle the issue soon. “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry,” Trump said.

He suggested that “certain flavors” of e-cigarette cartridges would be taken off the market “for a period of time.”

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The Food and Drug Administration is expected to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, according to a Tuesday report from The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter.”

The only exceptions would be e-cigarette pods that taste like tobacco or menthol, according to the report.

Users of tank-based vaping systems will also still be allowed to custom mix flavors because those kinds of vapes aren’t as popular among teens, according to The Journal.

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It was at a New Year’s Eve party at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where he told reporters that a ban of flavored e-cigarettes could be temporary.

“Hopefully, if everything’s safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market," he said.

“People have died from this, they died from vaping," Trump 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."

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He 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."

The president and his top health officials had said they would ban flavored e-cigarettes back in September because those fruity flavors appeal to teens and children.

However, vaping lobbyists pushed back on those efforts and White House advisers told Trump it could cost him votes with adults who vape if he went through with the ban.

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Starting in May, the FDA will review all e-cigarettes and only those with demonstrated benefits to U.S. public health will be allowed to stay on the market.

Last month, Trump also signed a bill into law that raised the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21 from 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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