Trump to Discuss ‘Acceptable Solution’ With Vaping Industry as He Mulls Ban on Flavors

November 11, 2019 Updated: November 11, 2019

President Donald Trump said he would be meeting with representatives from the vaping industry to find an “acceptable solution” to what he called the “vaping and e-cigarette dilemma.”

“Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma. Children’s health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!” Trump said in a Nov. 11 statement.

A rash of lung illnesses nationwide prompted probes by two federal agencies and drew the attention of the president and First Lady Melania Trump.

The Trump administration announced in September it would work on a ban on selling flavored e-cigarettes as a way to try to combat the growing numbers of minors who are using the products.

Trump said Friday that part of the effort will be raising the age limit for vaping from 18 to 21.

“We’re going to be coming out with a very important position on vaping,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We have to take care of our kids, most importantly. So we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so.” He also said the White House would release a “big paper” soon “talking about the age” and “talking about the flavors.”

Federal officials said on Nov. 8 that they identified vitamin E acetate as a “strong culprit” in the nationwide outbreak of vaping illnesses. The compound was found in 29 samples taken from patients and 23 samples tested positive for THC.

A vitamin E acetate sample
A vitamin E acetate sample during a tour of the Medical Marijuana Laboratory of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, N.Y., on Nov. 8, 2019. (Hans Pennink/AP)

Both are possible causes of the illnesses, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Control of Disease Prevention said during a call with reporters.

“These new findings are significant because for the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern—vitamin E acetate—in biologic samples from patients with lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products. These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin e acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs. And the samples reflect patients from states across the country,” Schuchat said.

“Vitamin E acetate is a vitamin found in many foods and is also available in supplements and cosmetic products like skin cream. Vitamin E acetate is also a known additive used to dilute liquid in e-cigarette or vaping products that contain THC. Vitamin E acetate does usually not cause harm when swallowed as a vitamin supplement or applied topically to the skin. However, previous non-CDC research suggests that when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung function.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
RECOMMENDED