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Trump Backs Off Flavored Vape Ban, Citing Potential Job Loss

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. August 20, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Trump is reconsidering a proposed ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes due to concerns that the new rule will result in substantial job losses in the industry, according to the New York Times.

The Center for Disease Control has reported cases of a mysterious lung illness connected to vaping, which is popular among teenagers. In September, President Trump had announced he would move to prohibit sales of most flavored e-cigarettes, which are disproportionately used by new vapers.

“We can’t have our kids be so affected,” Trump said at the time in a press conference in the Oval Office.

However, Trump’s advisers counseled the president that implementing the ban would have political repercussions, the Times reported. Trump feared the ban would put independent vape shop owners out of work and hurt job numbers at e-cigarette companies like Juul, and Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has also warned the president that a vaping ban would hurt the president among his base of voters.

A poll commissioned by Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin for the Vapor Technology Association showed that installing the ban would have negative results for the president in battleground states.

“Bans don’t work,” said Tony Abboud, head of the Vapor Technology Association, in comments to the Times. “They never have.”

Proponents of vaping note that the practice causes far fewer instances of health complications than traditional cigarettes. The U.K. has touted vaping as a harm-reduction measure that helps smokers transfer to a less-harmful practice, while some National Health Service hospitals have allowed vape shops to open on hospital grounds.

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