President Trump on Friday heard opposing viewpoints in the debate over youth vaping but offered no insight into where he would ultimately come down on the issue after promising two months ago that he would ban most flavored e-cigarettes but later backtracking.
Trump raised a number of concerns about a flavor ban at the meeting, primarily that a ban would push sales of flavored vaping products into the black market.
Trump to vaping opponents: "You watch prohibition ... if you don't give it to them, it is going to come here illegally ..."
'Now, instead of having a flavor that's at least safe, they're going to be having a flavor that's poison'.
"Children's health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!" he tweeted at the time. Mitt Romney, health officials and representatives of the vaping industry. The products' cartridges are infused with fruit, candy or dessert flavors, thus luring a new generation into nicotine addiction. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., that would ban flavored e-cigarettes and subject them to cigarette taxes, among other measures created to curb teen vaping.
"What is your solution?"
Mr. Romney appeared unmoved, saying at one point: "Utah is a Mormon state, and half the kids in high school are vaping".
"66 percent of these students believe that they are only vaping flavored liquid, when in reality 99 percent of the flavored liquids contained nicotine - a highly addictive substance that can impair normal brain development, as well as result in long-term cardiovascular impairment and poor lung health", Collins said. "You want to leave something for the adults".
Many anti-smoking organizations and the American Cancer Society are urging the president to stick to his original proposal to ban all flavored e-cigarettes.
Trump and his top health officials said in September they would remove all fruit, dessert, candy and other sweet flavors from the United States market within weeks.
Greg Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, told Trump that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "who is no friend to your presidency", is funding a $160 million campaign to try to ban these flavors.
The VTA, with over a thousand members, represents e-cigarette makers, as well as retailers and distributors.
But it has defended its menthol products, retaining a flavor that is well-known among American smokers.
"I salute the fact that Juul has said we're taking these products off the market because we care about our kids", Romney said.
The White House said Mr. Trump's interest in the debate shouldn't be viewed as a retreat.
Seated next to U.S. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who wants children protected from flavored vaping products, Trump listened to the back-and-forth for almost an hour, peppering each side with questions to try to determine the best way forward.
He voiced adamant support for a flavor ban, saying, "We have to put the kids first". "We've got almost 6 million kids addicted to nicotine and they're getting addicted to nicotine because of flavors".