President Trump today teased new federal restrictions on vape to reporters in the White House, suggesting that the government could raise the age limit for e-cigarette use to 21. The announcement is a change from a policy proposed in September when Trump said the federal government would Consider prohibiting flavor products from evaporating.
"We are coming up with a very important position in the field of sheep," Trump said CNBC. "We have to take care of our children in particular, so we have an age limit of 21 or so, so we will come up with something very important about vape next week."
Various legislators at both federal and state level have been calling for similar age restrictions in recent months. Leader majority leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill in April that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products from 18 to 21. A similar bill was introduced in Wisconsin just this week.
In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to pass a law that raised the age of smoking and vape to 21, amid a noticeable increase in young people using e-cigarettes. This trend has continued, with a recent study showing that one in four high school students and one in ten high school students has evaporated in the last 30 days.
High numbers of young vapers led the Surgeon General of the United States to have young people vapors an epidemic in 2018. Since then, many states and jurisdictions have begun to lay down rules designed to reduce the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and advertising for minors. bans be challenged in court.
Trump suggested on Friday that the government is still considering restricting tastes, as he emphasized in the September announcement. But the language around flavors was tempered today by the mention of other factors – including maintaining the e-cigarette industry. "We are talking about age, we are talking about tastes, we are also talking about keeping people working," Trump said according to Reuters.
On October 25 The Washington Post reported that Trump's campaign leader had asked the president to soften the language of the taste ban, which implies that banning flavors could harm his re-election opportunities next year. Among the proposed alternatives to a taste ban? Increase the age of vapen to 21.
Flavored vapen products are incredibly popular with young people, which is why sweet flavored products have been the target of regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration in the past. In the past, vintages with mint, menthol and tobacco tastes were allowed to stay on the shelves because regulators assumed that these tastes were more attractive to adult users. That assumption recently came under fire when a study found that Juul products of mint were by far the favorite flavor among high school students.
Studies have shown that teenagers who see advertisements for e-cigarettes will evaporate more often, and that teenagers who do start to evaporate will smoke more often in later life.
A White House policy announcement is expected next week.