OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) – The Trump Administration announced Wednesday its plans to clear the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, to tackle the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.
President Trump talked to reporters in the White House saying in part, "A lot of people think vaping is wonderful. It's great. It's really not wonderful."
"But we can't allow people to get sick. And we can't have our youth be so affected. And I'm hearing it and that's how the first lady got involved. She's got a son together that is a beautiful young man. And she feels very very strongly about it. She's seen it. We're both reading it. A lot of people are reading it. And people are dying with vaping. So we're looking at it very closely. And if nothing else this is a conference just to let people know about it. Because people are going to watch what we're saying. And parents are going to be a lot tougher with respect to their children. A lot of people think vaping is wonderful. It's great. It's really not wonderful. That's one thing I think we can say definitely, commissioner. It's not a wonderful thing. It's got big problems."
Michael Hart has been a smoker for 20 years and uses flavored e-cigarettes to satisfy his nicotine craving and help kick his habit.
“That helps out quite a bit because it makes the day go by a little bit smoother otherwise it can be hard for us,” Hart said.
He started with the highest dose of nicotine and now uses the lowest dose and fears a ban would push him back to traditional cigarettes.
“If I have to go back to the sweet tobacco or something like that, I may go back to a cigarette because the flavor is what helps curb the nicotine fix that can occur during the daytime. Over 20 years I’ve smoked and it’s hard to deal with,” Hart said.
Some vape shops say the ban would hurt business.
“It would probably tank quite a few businesses,” Alexander Sharp, a manager at Vape World in Overland Park said.
He says customers must be 21 to enter the store and they card everyone. Flavored e-cigarettes are a large part of business for the vaping community.
“There’s plenty of different flavors out there all the way from fruit cereals and all kinds of different things. There are millions and millions of different people and companies that actually rely on these specific flavors to prevent the urges to go back to tobacco products,” Sharp said.
The FDA plans to finalize a policy in the coming week, but the people at Vapor World believe the president should look at regulating internet sales and products with 50 milligrams of nicotine first.