President Donald Trump has scheduled a meeting Friday with vaping industry executives and public health advocates, among others, as he weighs a federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes, the White House said Wednesday.
"As the President has said, there is a serious problem among our youth and their growing addiction to e-cigarettes," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. "The policy making process is not stalled — it continues to move forward," Deere said. "This meeting will allow the President and other administration officials an opportunity to hear from a large group, representing all sides as we continue to develop responsible guidelines that protect the public health and the American people."
The White House hasn't released its invite list yet.
Faced with new data showing more than 5 million U.S. teens are now vaping, top Trump officials on Sept. 11 announced the administration was preparing to ban all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol.
The White House earlier this month abruptly canceled meetings it had scheduled with companies and advocates to discuss the policy. That, along with the publication of two studies showing that teens prefer flavored e-cigarettes, prompted many industry and regulatory onlookers to anticipate the administration would unveil its plan.
The plan never came. Trump reportedly refused to sign off on it amid pressure from the e-cigarette industry, citing job losses and polling data indicating that banning flavors could turn Trump voters against him. Trump in a tweet on Nov. 11 said he was planning a meeting, with "Children's health & safety, together with jobs" as a focus.