President Donald Trump is in favor of moving the minimum age for buying nicotine vaping products to 21 years old, according to comments made during a discussion forum Friday and attended by the CEOs of some of the nation’s largest vaping companies, including Altria Group, Juul Labs, and Njoy.
The administration has reportedly backed off a plan, announced in September, to ban most flavors of e-cigarettes, according to media reports, despite concerns from health organizations and physicians groups.
Trump said during the meeting that he was in favor of moving the minimum age for nicotine vaping to 21 years old from 18 years old. He also said he has concerns with “prohibition” because illegal vape products bought on the black market could be markedly unsafe compared with ones sold in a regulated market. “They could be selling something on a street corner that could be horrible,” he said during the session.
A report released Friday by a vaping group said that a ban on flavored vape products would lead to a loss of 151,000 jobs, which is 90% of the total vaping jobs in the U.S.
Along with vaping executives, other attendees included Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), the American Medical Association’s Dr. Patrice Harris, and American Cancer Society CEO Gary Reedy.
The American Medical Association this week called for a ban on all flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products, calling on the Food and Drug Administration to implement a ban flavored products. It also wants to see the minimum age moved to 21.
One-quarter of high-school seniors have vaped nicotine in the past month, a recent survey of 42,500 teens found.
Shares of Altria Group MO, +0.37%, one of the world’s largest producers of tobacco products, were flat in afternoon trading in New York.