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The powerful e-cigarette lobby, at work in Arkansas and with Trump – Arkansas Times

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The powerful e-cigarette lobby, at work in Arkansas and with Trump - Arkansas Times

Given its ties both actual and spiritual to the tobacco industry, it’s not much of a surprise to see the power flexed by the vaping industry.

Here, from the Washington Post today, a rundown on Donald Trump’s effort to look like he’s on the side of health, by curbing flavored vaping products, while essentially capitulating to the industry.

Angry public health groups on Wednesday predicted President Trump’s scaled-back plan to limit flavored e-cigarettes will fall far short of its goal of stopping a surge in youth vaping, arguing that the imminent policy is an election-year capitulation to industry interests.

The administration plans to announce this week that it will ban an array of flavored ­e-cigarette pods — closed cartridges that contain vaping liquids and have been embraced by teens. But it will spare e-liquids for “open tank” products that typically are sold by vape shops and are more commonly used by adults, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe internal deliberations.

The targeted flavors will include fruity and minty cartridges but not menthol — a significant retreat from an earlier proposal — and tobacco ones. The official said the outcome was a compromise between administration officials pushing a comprehensive ban promised by Trump in September and others worried about the political fallout stemming from potential job losses in thousands of vape shops across the country.

The story should be familiar in Arkansas. The vaping industry was virtually untouched by the 2019 legislature. It still is assessed virtually no taxes, unlike cigarettes. It was protected from local regulation by — high irony — a provision in a bill nominally intended to raise money for UAMS cancer research. A last-minute legislative monstrosity eliminated health and safety regulations of vape shops (in truth, they were being ignored anyway). The age for purchasing vaping materials was raised, but phased in over a period of years. Big-time lobbyists managed all these legislative feats while the legislature was putting limits on food and medical care for the poor, increasing the cost of driving a car to work, applying the sales tax to internet purchases, slapping new taxes on cell phones and giving a $100 million income tax windfall to the ultrawealthy.

- Advertisement -The powerful e-cigarette lobby, at work in Arkansas and with Trump - Arkansas Times
- Advertisement -The powerful e-cigarette lobby, at work in Arkansas and with Trump - Arkansas Times

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