File photo of vaping
Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters
President Donald Trump said Friday the administration plans to raise the vaping age to 21 “or so” but also suggested that the administration may be backing off plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes.
“We’re going to be coming out with a very important position on vaping,” Trump said. “We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so, so we’ll be coming out with something next week very important on vaping.”
A number of state and local governments have already raised the smoking age to 21 from 18, a policy the tobacco industry supports. Multiple lawmakers have filed federal bills, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Trump and top health officials said in September that the administration was readying a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Trump’s comments Friday suggest the administration may be backing off those plans amid intense pressure from vaping advocates who say flavors help adults stop smoking cigarettes and that removing flavors would force vape shops around the country to close.
“We have a lot of people to look at, including jobs, quite frankly,” Trump said. “Because, you know, it’s become a pretty big industry.”
It was widely speculated that the administration would announce its plan Tuesday in conjunction with the publication of two studies outlining kids’ appetite for flavors, particularly mint. It wasn’t immediately clear why the announcement was delayed.