American politicians will be voting later today on a total flavour ban, however, the White House has announced Trump will probably veto the anti-vaping bill!
It’s being reported the Democrats are in danger of losing the vote, and supporters have spent the last 24 hours urging its members to back the controversial Bill H.R. 2339.
Should this pass into law, it would be the biggest act of prohibition since the USA banned alcohol!
Not only that a huge tax would be slapped on all things vaping – more than on lit tobacco – and put millions of American lives at risk.
Pro-vaping Professor Michael Siegel, from Boston University, said:
By creating barriers to a much healthier product, these laws will simply force former smokers to return to cigarette smoking.
With scant regard to e-cigarettes being at least 95% safer than lit tobacco, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, spent most of yesterday trying to reign in Democrat politicians preparing to vote against the bill.
She told the media:
Big Tobacco is just on its usual rampage — it uses flavors like gummy bear, bubble gum and cotton [candy] to ensnare and addict our children to tobacco.
We’re hoping to have a good vote tomorrow on that.
All BS of course…but politicians do like their soundbites no matter how crass they are.
There’s an issue with race too, as many of the Democrats planning to vote down the bill say the banning of menthol tobacco and cheaper cigars, will impact of the black community in particular.
Yvette Clarke said:
Wealthier populations have been almost given a pass with this legislation.
When you’re allowed to carve out premium cigars — and then the cheap cigars that communities of color tend to enjoy are banned — it just sort of struck me as being unfair.
Anti-Vaping Bill Trump Veto Says White House
Should the vote pass it’s highly unlikely it will come into law as President Trump is now backing vaping suggesting he believes they are indeed effective harm reduction tools AND the ban may well be un-constitutional!
The White House statement reads:
..this bill contains provisions that are unsupported by the available evidence regarding harm reduction and American tobacco use habits and another provision that raises constitutional concerns.
Accordingly, the Administration cannot support H.R. 2339 in its current form.
Good to see Trump and his administration finally getting behind vaping – though cynics [including me] could argue it’s to keep votes in the upcoming presidential elections 😉
If that’s the case it’s proof positive the #WeVapeWeVote campaign has really hit home hard.
The statement also doubles down on the benefits of e-cigarettes and says a total ban of online sales of vape products is over-kill:
The Administration cannot support H.R. 2339’s counterproductive efforts to restrict access to products that may provide a less harmful alternative to millions of adults who smoke combustible cigarettes.
This includes the bill’s prohibition of menthol e-liquids, which available evidence indicates are used relatively rarely by youth.
It also includes the bill’s approach to remote retail sales.
At this time, problems surrounding such sales should be addressed through the application of age verification technologies rather than, as this bill would do, prohibiting such sales entirely.
At last some sense coming from America regarding vaping – let’s hope it’s just the beginning.
Wrong Approach To Vaping Says White House
So will we see an anti-vaping bill Trump veto?
It looks extremely likely that will happen.
The Trump administration says rather than an outright ban, Congress should be loloking to adopt Trump’s plan to move tobacco control away from the FDA and into a new federal organization:
The bill takes the wrong approach to tobacco regulation.
Rather than continuing to focus on the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Congress should implement President Trump’s Budget proposal to create a new, more directly accountable agency within the Department of Health and Human Services to focus on tobacco regulation.
This new agency would be led by a Senate-confirmed Director and would have greater capacity to respond to the growing complexity of tobacco products and respond effectively to tobacco-related public health concerns.
If presented to the President in its current form, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
Yesterday advocacy group the Vapor Technology Association[VTA] said Bill H.R. 2339 would have a devastating effect on US public health and suggested the only winners if it was passed into law would be Big Tobacco:
HR 2339’s ban on flavors in e-cigarettes and massive tax increase, among its other provisions, will benefit Big Tobacco by eliminating vapor products as an alternative for adults who are desperately trying to quit smoking cigarettes, while shuttering the small businesses which are competing with Big Tobacco.
Make no mistake, HR 2339 will do little to protect youth and will endanger U.S. public health for years to come for at least three specific reasons: (1) banning flavors will increase smoking or force adults to the black market; (2) empirical research proves that e-cigarette taxes increase cigarette sales and cause fewer smokers to quit; and (3) flavor bans will shut down more than 13,000 small businesses and lay off 150,000 American workers.
…HR 2339 can only serve to hurt adult smokers, their families, and small businesses in communities throughout the country.
VTA remains committed to working with lawmakers and regulators to implement real solutions that will achieve the twin goals of further restricting youth vaping while preserving e-cigarettes and flavored vapor as an alternative for adult consumers who are desperately trying to quit smoking, without shutting down America’s vapor products industry.
It seems the White House and indeed the VTA are at last singing from the same hymn sheet – let’s hope it lasts.
The vote is scheduled to take place late this afternoon UK time – and I’ll bring it all up to date in Sunday’s Vape News.