WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump will host a meeting on vaping at the White House on Friday with a range of groups, including industry and public health representatives, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday, as his administration considers calls to tighten e-cigarette regulations amid alarm over serious health issues.
"The policy making process is not stalled," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. Trump on Nov. 11 said he would be meeting with industry representatives after previously saying his administration would release its position on vaping last week, though it never was.
The Trump administration in September announced a sweeping plan to ban all e-cigarette and vaping flavors aside from tobacco flavors. Trump earlier this month said he would raise the age to buy such products to 21.
But the Republican president soon backed off the plan, the Washington Post and other news outlets later reported, citing unnamed officials who in part pointed to political concerns the ban could harm his re-election campaign ahead of the November 2020 election. Reuters could not confirm the reports.
Deere said Friday's planned meeting would "include a diverse group of advocacy, industry, non-profits, medical associations and State officials," but did not name specific organizations.
Representatives for the industry and various health groups could not be immediately reached for comment on the meeting.
Friday's meeting would give Trump "an opportunity to hear from a large group, representing all sides as we continue to develop responsible guidelines," Deere said.
The American Medical Association this week urged "a total ban" on all e-cigarette and vaping products that do not meet U.S. regulators' standards for smoking cessation, citing concerns about the growing number of serious vaping lung illnesses.
Vaping companies have said their products are not targeted at youth and have touted the industry's job creation.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)