Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes

Commentary with a little News with a Twist

Battleground state polling of Trump’s base shows issue costing him support.

President Trump discussed a ban on most flavored e-cigarettes in the Oval Office in September. From left, Ned Sharpless, the former acting chief of the Food and Drug Administration; Melania Trump; the president; and Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services.

Back in September, showing uncharacteristic concern for the growing public health crisis affecting American teenagers, President Trump said at a meeting with the acting head of the FDA and the secretary of health, that he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise.

At that meeting, Trump said, “We can’t have our kids be so affected,” The first lady, Melania Trump, who rarely involves herself publicly with policy announcements in the White House, was there, too. “She’s got a son,” Mr. Trump noted, referring to their teenager, Barron. “She feels very strongly about it.”

Trump’s unusual comment, “She’s got a son,” did not get much notice from the White House press corps, but Around the Block’s White House correspondent did ask Mrs. Trump what her husband meant by that comment. We can now report on her response: “She got son? Of course he say because he not father. I von’t let creep come near me. Only marry to get parents into country illegally. Barron father in Ljubljana. Vlad. Miss him so. Going back after creep loses election or maybe sooner if, how you say, impeached.”*

*In case you’re wondering, this is the News with a Twist part.

But I digress. Where was I? Ah yes…Trump’s admirable ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Wait, what? That was then…this is now:

According to reporting by the New York Times, under pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists to factor in the potential pushback from his supporters, Trump has resisted moving forward with any action on vaping, while saying he still wants to study the issue. The Times writes that Trump is concerned about his chances in 2020 and allies working for the vaping industry have told Mr. Trump of battleground state polling of his own voters that showed the issue costing him support.

So, votes trump a health crisis.

Sound familiar? It should. Because it is exactly the same sequence of events Trump took after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. As the Times writes, “…from a bold pronouncement of swift action to a fizzle after the political realities of taking such an action emerge.” 

Trump’s personal interest always seem to come before the nation’s. Obviously, that’s what the impeachment inquiry is all about; his personal interest coming ahead of a rational foreign policy and national security. And, of course, personal interest has played a key role in his raping of the environment, either to curry favor with big business and special interests for money or because of his obsession with undoing everything his hated nemesis Barack Obama did. But whatever his personal reasons, Trump’s turning back the environmental clock will have a devastating effect on our personal interests and our lives.

A Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and other sources, counts more than 80 environmental rules and regulations on the way out under the Trump administration.

The details of these 85 rollbacks can be accessed by hitting the download button below. Read and weep.

When I visited Ljubljana earlier this year I asked our Slovenian tour guide whether Slovenia would take Melania back. “Only if she doesn’t bring her husband,” he answered. Sounds like he and Melania are of like mind.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

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