U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has ratcheted up his criticism of the Trump administration’s policy on vaping, calling out its new partial ban on flavored vaping products incomplete.
The Democrat took to Twitter over the weekend to complain, “There are gaping holes in the Trump Admin’s new vaping policy. Caving to Juul, Altria, & Big Tobacco by leaving menthol flavors & liquid tanks on the market will only create a new nicotine addicted generation.”
Blumenthal’s tweet was linked to a Washington Post editorial that also found fault in the administration’s decision to halt the sale of all vaping liquid flavors except tobacco and menthol; tank-based systems sold in vaping shops are not subject to the administration’s new policy.
“We are temporarily taking certain illegal products off the market if they are the types of products and flavors most widely used by kids,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar last week, who added all vaping products can be considered illegal because they were never cleared for retail sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Last summer, a judge ruled that e-cigarette manufacturers must submit premarketing applications to the agency by May 12, at which point they can remain on the market for one year while the FDA reviews their applications.
Blumenthal has been among the harshest critics of vaping and e-cigarettes. Last April, he called for the creation of a federal program aimed at keeping youth from using these products. In November, he used a speech on the subject to insist that “the vaping industry has Donald Trump under its thumb.”