There is little doubt that First Lady Melania Trump absolutely adores children and wants nothing but the best for them — and she has shown that she’s unafraid to speak out against that which she believes is harmful to the well-being of America’s youth.
Given that, it is hardly surprising that President Donald Trump seemed to credit the first lady as being — at least in part — behind his newly-announced effort to curb the growing trend of young Americans using flavored e-cigarettes that contain nicotine or THC.
Trump announces e-cig ban
President Trump’s remarks on vaping came during an event Wednesday afternoon in the Oval Office. The president was joined by the first lady as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director Ned Sharpless, not to mention the gathered media.
It appears this move was promoted by mounting reports in recent weeks of young people suffering from terrible lung illnesses that were attributed to vaping, with a handful of them even dying.
Unfortunately, it remains unclear at this time what exactly has caused the recent uptick in illnesses, given that vaping has been a growing trend for roughly a decade without any similar outbreaks. The most likely (though unconfirmed) culprits seem to be unregulated, black market products with tainted ingredients that are bought and sold on the streets.
Nevertheless, the spate of illnesses also came amid reports of a definite uptick among young people using flavored e-cigarettes, despite such products already being banned for purchase or possession by people under the age of 18 (or 21, in some states).
Melania fights for American kids
After noting the growing “problem” of teens using flavored vapes, President Trump allowed Azar and Sharpless to announce that the FDA would soon impose a new rule that would ban all flavored e-cigarettes — other than tobacco-flavored — until more studies can be completed and the FDA approves the products.
The president then allowed the media to ask questions and — of course — they asked about a number of other wholly unrelated topics before finally circling back to the topic at hand.
Asked about the impact companies that produce and market e-cigarette products would face by the ban on flavored products, Trump replied: “Vaping has become a very big business, as I understand it. Like a giant business in a very short period of time. But we can’t allow people to get sick, and we can’t have our youth be so affected.”
He went on to say “that’s how the First Lady got involved.”
“I mean, she’s got a son — together — that is a beautiful young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it,” the president said. “She’s seen it. We’re both reading it. A lot of people are reading it. But people are dying with vaping.”
And the Trump administration wants to put a stop to it.