Health

'Not stalled': Trump plans Friday meet with vaping stakeholders

U.S. President Donald Trump will host a meeting on vaping at the White House on Friday with a range of groups, including industry and public health representatives, a White House spokesperson said on Wednesday.

It was reported earlier this week the administration was backing off e-cigarette rules over political concerns

A man using an electronic cigarette exhales in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, in this Oct. 4, 2019 file photo. (Tony Dejak/The Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump will host a meeting on vaping at the White House on Friday with a range of groups, including industry and public health representatives, a White House spokesperson said on Wednesday, as his administration considers calls to tighten e-cigarette regulations amid alarm over serious health issues.

"The policy making process is not stalled," White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement.

On Nov. 11, Trump said he would be meeting with industry representatives after previously saying his administration would release its position on vaping last week — though it never was.

The Trump administration in September announced a sweeping plan to ban all e-cigarette and vaping flavours, aside from tobacco flavours. Earlier this month, Trump also said he would raise the age to buy such products to 21.

But the Republican president soon backed off the plan, it was later reported, in part over political concerns the ban could harm his re-election campaign ahead of the November 2020 election.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar looks on as President Donald Trump talks about a plan to ban most flavoured e-cigarettes in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 11, 2019. (Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

Deere said Friday's planned meeting would "include a diverse group of advocacy, industry, non-profits, medical associations and State officials," but did not name specific organizations.

Representatives for the industry and various health groups could not be immediately reached for comment on the meeting.

Friday's meeting would give Trump "an opportunity to hear from a large group, representing all sides as we continue to develop responsible guidelines," Deere said.

The American Medical Association this week urged "a total ban" on all e-cigarette and vaping products that do not meet U.S. regulators' standards for smoking cessation, citing concerns about the growing number of serious vaping lung illnesses.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 42 deaths linked to vaping and 2,172 injuries, according to the federal agency's latest count. In Canada, there have been eight confirmed or probable cases of severe lung illness related to vaping.

Vaping companies have said their products are not targeted at youth and have touted the industry's job creation.

With files from The Associated Press

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