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New Trump tweet suggests position on flavored vape ban may be softening

In a September 11 press conference at the White House, President Donald Trump announced his intentions to implement a federal ban on flavored vaping products.  Sitting alongside The First Lady, the President also had the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Alex Azar in the room.  However, as the event transpired, it became abundantly clear that neither POTUS nor the DHHS Secretary had a deep understanding of the topic at hand.

“People are dying with vaping,” Mr. Trump stated. “A lot of people think vaping is wonderful, it’s great. It’s really not wonderful.”  At one point, Mr. Trump even suggested, rather nonsensically, that kids were coming home from school in massive numbers saying, “Mom, I want to vape.”  

Where did he hear this silliness?  Was it from Secretary Azar, perhaps?

Related Article:  WH Presser: Trump plans to ban flavored vapes; no mention of THC or smoking

Vaping enthusiasts and advocacy groups around the nation immediately sprang into action.  Even the international sensation and world-class scientist Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of Greece sprang into action.  “This is officially the end of electronic cigarettes in the US (unless courts have a different opinion). I feel sorry for American smokers.”

However, just two days later, signs that the President may be rethinking his decision to ban flavored vapes are slowing beginning to emerge.  In a September 13 tweet, Mr. Trump offered a seemingly revised opinion. “While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let’s get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping!”

To be fair, any President of the United States relies heavily on his or her staff to provide accurate and timely information, especially if said-POTUS is about to walk out on Live TV and make controversial public announcements.  When those staffers are ill-informed or have political objectives of their own, they can easily manipulate the president into making poor decisions.  Is this the case with Secretary Azar?

Trump Administration officials already knew the truth

Even as Wednesday’s press conference was being televised live on national television, multiple members of the Trump Administration already knew the truth behind the suspected origins of the recent outbreak of mysterious lung disorders.  Officials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also knew the truth, as well. 

Yet – strangely – neither Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless nor CDC Director Robert Redfield attended the White House presser. Only their boss – Secretary Azar – was apparently willing to promote such an outlandish conspiracy theory that blames flavored nicotine e-liquids for at least six “vaping-related” deaths.  Luckily, the truth is finally beginning to come out.

Related Article:  Gottlieb throws nicotine vaping a lifeline; calls for fed regulation of cannabis

The “vaping-related” lung ailments have nothing whatsoever to do FDA-regulated nicotine vape juices.  Instead, the FDA, the CDC, and at least two different state public health agencies from New York and California have confirmed that the most likely culprit is the vaping of Black Market THC oils.  And these agencies have also known this crucial information since well before the White House press conference of September 11. 

In fact, in the hours directly before the Trump press conference, law enforcement officials in Wisconsin – Ground Zero of the “vaping related” crisis – were arresting a young man named Taylor Huffhines.  They are accusing the 20-year old of running an illegal drug ring which involves the manufacturing and selling of Black Market THC vapor cartridges.    Still, no one from the FDA, the CDC, or law enforcement attempted to tell the President that he was about to make a YUGE mistake on Live TV?    

Trump tweet fails to mention THC

If Trump’s latest tweet on vaping is any indication, perhaps he is finally learning the truth, as well.  His most recent tweet on the matter seems less aggressive towards vaping, but it is also noteworthy that the tweet lacks any reference to THC or cannabis.  While many vapers may be hoping that Trump’s proposed ban on vape flavors will somehow magically disappear like a plume of chocolate-covered strawberry vape juice, this is likely only the first in a long series of important battles that lay ahead. 

Related Article:  ARRESTED: Wisconsin man accused of running illegal THC vape cartridge op

Unfortunately, the mysterious lung ailments debacle is probably going to force two very friendly political allies – the American vapor industry and the legalized marijuana community – into an extremely uncomfortable confrontation.   Members of both sides of the impending debate must remember to keep their collective heads throughout the many difficult conversations that lie ahead, and to always remember:

The real enemies are Big Tobacco and Big Pharma. They both want vaping dead and are probably orchestrating this entire Vaping vs. Cannabis confrontation from behind the scenes.

Related Article:  Farsalinos calls U.S. reports of so-called vaping-related lung disease ‘irrational hysteria’

(Image courtesy of Twitter)

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