In this April 23, 2014, file photo, a man smokes an e-cigarette at Vape store in Chicago.
Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP

Trump vows ‘very strong’ regulations on vaping, noncommittal on guns

Vaping has caught the White House’s attention.

The Trump administration said Wednesday it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes amid a vaping crisis.

“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”

Donald Trump briefly addressed the issue at an Oval Office event yesterday, telling reporters that vaping is “causing a lot of problems, and we’re going to have to do something about it.”

The president went on to say, “There have been deaths and there have been a lot of other problems,” and that he and his team are eying “very strong rules and regulations.”

In curious comments, Trump also pointed to First Lady Melania Trump and her concerns over vaping, telling reporters, in apparent reference to his own youngest child, “I mean, she’s got a son – together – that is a beautiful, young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it.”

And while that’s a tough one to unpack, it was also interesting to contrast the president’s comments about vaping with his comments about guns at the same White House Q&A.

While Trump believes “we’re going to have to do something” about vaping,” because “there have been deaths and there have been a lot of other problems,” which necessitates “very strong rules and regulations,” his posture toward guns seemed far less vigorous.

“Some things will never happen, and some things can, really, very much – some very meaningful things can happen,” he said, adding, “We’re having great dialogue. We’ll see what happens.”

I’d recommend keeping expectations in check.