The latest update about the flavor ban has come directly from President Trump. He has taken no action against the flavors. It is assumed that the inaction is connected with the upcoming elections. Trump fears any decision could lead to a loss of votes for him. He would not risk his presidency for a flavor ban.
The reality is very different from what is being shown. It is not just Trump who changed his mind, it was the vaping industry that fought hard against the flavor ban. All the vaping supporters, be it small business owners or vapers, they kept on calling at the White House for two months. Not just phone calls, but social media, T.V commercials, Twitter posts, and most importantly the number of rallies conducted throughout the state. All these things made a huge impact and ultimately resulted in something positive.
The good news is that the voice of the people is still heard. The Washington rally and various other protests held were noticed by Trump. He was forced to change the decision. Although this would encourage vapers and consumers to keep showing their support. The vaping industry needs to fight hard as the issue is not solved yet and it could go on for a longer period of time.
While the news might have made a lot of people happy, this is nothing but a temporary happiness. No one can trust Trump, as this is not his final decision, he is still surrounded by a lot of influential people such as his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway, and Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar. All these people are in favor of a flavor ban and would definitely try to convince him to impose the ban even if he personally does not support it. On the other hand, if Trump declares no flavor ban, then the tobacco control and medical lobbying organization would create trouble for him which could lead to something even worse.
Since the issues of lung injuries and the epidemic of youth came into the news, there have been a lot of problems for the vape industries. The injuries caused by black market THC oil cartridges are on the front page daily, along with vaping and flavor ban. This has resulted in tremendous confusion among the people, the CDC, and the news media. The two issues are merged and presented together, which shows vaping as the reason behind those lung injuries. The CDC looks like deliberately doing this to destroy the nicotine vaping.
Also, there are rumors about Trump’s son, Barron. It is alleged that Mrs. Trump caught him vaping or is worried that he might start vaping soon. There is nothing to hide that she openly supports the flavor ban and has been actively participating in the anti-vaping events organized by the Truth, along with Kellyanne Conway.
In September, Trump was advised to announce the flavor ban by his adviser. Trump was convinced by the idea that such a move would get him votes from the suburban parents and it will benefit him in the upcoming elections. While he was not informed that the same move would instigate anger among the vapers and that would damage his reputation among the youth.
The announcement by the Trump administration was taken as a challenge by the vapers, who began to fight Trump in their own way. CASAA immediately launched a White House calling campaign, which also included emails and posts. While YouTubers such as Matt Culley, Nick Green and Ruby Roo posted videos in support of vape and encouraged people to join twitter and be a part of the hashtag, #WeVapeWeVote. The movement became so popular and was retweeted so many times that it was accused of using bots. Also the Washington rally in spring May 27, 2019 became so famous that the organizers already started planning another rally in November this year.
Paul Blair was seen arguing with the Trump campaign officials that the suburban parents that Trump was hoping to impress, might not do enough to reelect him in 2020. According to polling data provided by ATR, vapers who are angry at the flavor ban would play a crucial role in the elections. When Trump was elected in 2016, he won in many states with a small margin of votes, considering the current situation, he would face a lot of problems if few of the vapers voted against him. A small amount of votes from vapors could spoil his chance of being reelected.
If this was not enough for Trump as a warning then, another report came from VTA. They conducted another poll by McLaughlin & Associates. This firm had earlier conducted polls for Trump in the 2016 campaign. The report showed that around 97% of vapers strongly oppose the flavor ban. It seems this data was convincing enough for Trump to change his decision.
Just when the HHS and FDA officials were about to announce the flavor ban, Trump backed away from the ban the night before the scheduled announcement. Washington Post claims, Trump put the entire blame of HHS Secretary Azar for forcing him to ban the flavors and did not inform him about the problems such as job loss and economic issues.
While some of the administration officials claim that Trump could still change his mind and go for the flavor ban, the others said that the flavor ban initiative is dead. Although the voluntary removal of mint pods from the market by JUUL has made it less likely for flavor ban to be imposed. It is assumed that the administration would not proceed anymore. On the other hand, CDC has apparently accepted that vitamin E acetate in black market THC is the reason behind the lung injuries.
Even after all this tobacco control, extremists will not be satisfied. They were almost successful in banning the flavored vape. Their idea of removing tobacco from the market could not be fulfilled, but this will not stop them. They will definitely look for some other methods to impose the ban, using the states or congress for the purpose.
Although no complete ban on flavors is passed in any of the states through the legislative process. Massachusetts Senate will have the opportunity to be the first state to impose a complete ban on flavored vape.
Also, the guidance by the FDA has enforced the PMTA requirement with a deadline of 12 May 2020. All the vaping products are expected to pass a long procedure of test and only then it would be allowed to be introduced in the market. If any of the manufacturers fail to do so, all the products will be removed from the market. It is a do or die situation for the vaping industry as they are sandwiched by the FDA and the flavor ban. The journey is going to be very difficult for them.
“Suppose we avoid this ban, then we will next focus on ensuring that the Trump administration identifies the need to reform the FDA’s regulatory system for these products,” says American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley.
Conley also said, “If the President is looking to save the vapers votes for the elections then it is too late. Doing nothing about it will not help them as the deadline for PMTA in coming closer,” Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner tweeted on Sunday that, not acting in this matter might cost a lot to Trump, as this could destroy the vaping industry. Although he could be right, by not doing anything Trump too may get into a problem.
Since Trump cannot be trusted, Vapers must work hard and will have to remain active and vigilant and work to be better organized and armed for more battles.