President Trump today indicated his administration plans to seek a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, citing concerns over teen vaping and the spate of recent, much-reported lung illnesses afflicting hundreds of people who vaped various substances. Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Michelle Minton warned that an e-cigarette ban will mean a terrible outcome for public health with few gains to show for it:
“Regulation of e-cigarettes should be based on science, not fear-mongering or fake news. Evidence shows e-cigarettes are vastly safer than smoking and highly effective at helping smokers quit a habit that kills nearly half a million Americans each year. E-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives but not if we destroy what makes them attractive.
“Banning flavors won’t prevent youth vaping but will drive adults back to smoking or into the black market. The rise in death and disease that will follow such a ban will, no doubt, be blamed on e-cigarettes and used to lobby for even greater restrictions. But the blame will belong to special interests spending billions to spread lies, the news media that spreads misinformation, and the lawmakers who base regulations on fear instead of facts.”