President Trump held a “listening session” on youth e-cigarette usage on Friday. It stays uncertain if a restriction on vaping flavorings is near or off the table completely.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
President Trump reviewed the concept today of restricting youth access to e-cigarettes. He stated his administration might relocate to raise the legal age to purchase vaping items from 18 to21 Trump’s remarks came throughout a White Home conference on vaping that consisted of agents from the market in addition to public health supporters who desire a restriction on flavored e-cigarettes. NPR’s Allison Aubrey joins us now to discuss that conference.
ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Hi, there.
CHANG: So what was the president’s primary message today?
AUBREY: Well, the message was actually framed as a listening session, a chance for the president to speak with all sides in what’s ended up being an extremely controversial problem. Back in September, the president stated he supported a restriction on flavored e-cigarettes due to the fact that it’s the tastes, such as mint, that are understood to draw in teenagers to vaping.
AUBREY: However then came out reports that the administration has actually withdrawed. Now today, the president did reveal suspicion about whether a restriction might work. He stated, we discovered throughout restriction that prohibits can cause unlawful sales or a black market. However he likewise suggested that the policy procedure has actually not stalled out. He began the conference by stating, we wish to look after our kids. So possibly the most clear sign of what this may be is his remark that his administration might raise the legal age to purchase e-cigarettes to 21.
CHANG: OK, however this has gotten actually controversial, ideal? There are advocacy groups and health professionals requiring a restriction. And I comprehend that on the other side, there are a great deal of conservative groups …
AUBREY: That’s right.
CHANG: … Who oppose a restriction. What is their argument?
AUBREY: That’s right. Well – right. It’s not simply the business that make the vapes or offer the vapes. This union of conservative groups has actually come out highly. An agent from Americans for Tax – Americans for Tax Reform, which is led by Grover Norquist, was at the conference today. This group has actually required the president to protect access to e-cigarettes. They argue that adult cigarette smokers utilize e-cigarettes to assist stop standard cigarettes. They’re signed up with by a quite long list of other conservative groups – the American Conservative Union, the Competitive Business Institute. And they state vaping is a kind of damage decrease, that it’s less hazardous than cigarettes, which seems like a sensible argument if you are a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker …
AUBREY: … Attempting to stop.
CHANG: However the argument is a health argument.
AUBREY: That’s right. They’re utilizing a health argument here. I do not understand what the tax argument is. However, you understand, individuals who vape have actually ended up at rallies with indications that state, we vape, we vote.
AUBREY: So this is actually a political problem.
CHANG: Yeah. All right, OK, so that’s one side of the argument. What about individuals requiring a restriction? What’s their take?
AUBREY: Sure. Well, the opposite of the argument originates from groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, you understand, public health groups. Their primary argument is look what is occurring with teens today. There’s this huge boost in the variety of high school kids who vape. Numerous teenagers likewise vape illegal or grey-market THC items, which are connected to the break out of these serious lung health problems. And they indicate simply how addicting and how hazardous nicotine can be to the teenage brain, developing prospective memory and focus issues. It can likewise make kids more susceptible to other kinds of drug abuse. So they actually argue this is another generation of kids getting connected on nicotine by vaping. And throughout the conference today, the president choose of the American Academy of Pediatrics came out, and she informed the president she had actually like to see him progress with the restriction.
CHANG: So do you have any sense of where this is going to be heading? I suggest, do you believe flavored e-cigarettes will eventually be prohibited?
AUBREY: Well, you understand, I believe it’s quite up in the air. Trump even recommended today that states must develop their own strategies. I suggest, some states, consisting of Michigan, Massachusetts and New York City, have actually currently relocated that instructions. So we’ll see.
CHANG: That’s NPR’s Allison Aubrey.
AUBREY: Thank you.
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