Olivia Alvord, Staff Writer
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, President Donald Trump went on public record to say that he would seek a ban on vape products and e-cigarettes in the near future to prevent young people, and as he stated, “innocent children,” from being harmed by the dangers that these products cause. This news comes shortly after the announcement that six people have died in the U.S. due to the use of vape and e-cigarette products. In addition to this, at least 450 people have been hospitalized, according to the Guardian.
First Lady Melania Trump has also talked about her concern for this recently widespread problem. She has tweeted about this epidemic of use, especially within children, numerous times.
“We need to all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
Some are questioning the First Lady because of the conundrum she has put herself into. The Trump administration wants to ban vape and e-cigarette products to prevent people from turning to more dangerous nicotine products like cigarettes, but are still planning on keeping those other nicotine products on the market.
The question that came to light with this recent news asks why there is an attempt to stop this alternative to smoking when the traditional menthol cigarettes are being left on the market. This is largely due to the data released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. This survey measured a sample of high school students’ usage within a 30 day period. Results showed 25 percent of people in this age group use vaping products.
Due to Trump’s recent interest, the FDA will now be required to develop and release a policy with the intent to reduce, and perhaps even remove, vape and e-cigarette products from shelves. This process, however, can take weeks or even months to develop. Before this, vape and e-cigarette products have been sold under an FDA waiver. It is unknown what the vaping companies response to President Trump’s plans with the FDA is going to be, but they have seen a decline in sales since the incidents. Some vape users have stated that they think this plan “will bankrupt the businesses, create a black market, and cause some ex-smokers to return to tobacco,” stated USA Today.