Trump backs off e-liquid flavour ban
Despite passing federal regulators, President Trump’s highly touted e-cigarette flavour ban seems to have been squashed for the time being. Despite being urged to sign off on the flavour ban by his wife and daughter, President Trump ultimately refused to sign the one-page “decision memo,” stating this ban would lead to job losses.
According to officials, the social media backlash to Trump’s proposed flavour ban rattled him, as did the masses of protestors at various events. This concern over backlash was only further bolstered by Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who privately warned that the ban could hurt him in battleground states.
Following Trump’s refusal to sign the flavour ban, the president is now reportedly upset with Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary. Azar led the rolling out plan of the flavour ban and according to a senior administration official, “he didn’t know much about the issue and was just doing it for Melania and Ivanka.”
It is unclear whether or not the current administration will unveil a new policy regarding e-cigarettes.
The TTC bans vaping ads on public transit
The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) will cease all vaping related ads on public transit in an attempt to better align with provincial and federal regulations surrounding the promotion of vaping. This move comes weeks after the province of Ontario announced it will be banning the promotion of vaping products in convenience stores and gas stations starting in January 2020.
While this may seem like a blow to the vaping industry, but for Samuel Tam, president of the Canadian Vaping Association, this is not the case. According to Tam, “I think it’s the correct step to take… we don’t need our Canadian youth to be exposed to the advertising that’s out there.” Currently, the TTC estimates that 10% of all riders are under the age of 19.
Apple pulls vaping apps from the app store
On November 15, 2018, Apple purged 181 vaping apps from its service, citing the recent outbreak of vaping-related injuries and deaths as the driving factor behind this decision. Not only was this a purge of the app store, but Apple will also no longer be allowing any vaping-related apps on its service. Those that have already downloaded vape apps will still be able to use them and transfer them to new Apple devices, but they will no longer be able to update these apps through the App Store.
According to Apple, this ban was enacted to better curate the App Store as a “trusted place for customers, particularly youth, to download apps.” Apple went on to state “recently, experts ranging from the CDC to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. We agree, and we’ve updated our App Store Review Guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted.”
In response to this ban, PAX has urged Apple to rethink its decisions as the cannabis company produces several vaporizers designed to be controlled through iOS and Android apps. The now-banned PAX Mobile app would allow users to adjust various settings on their device, set parental controls, and verify the authenticity of cartridges used in the device.
PAX has said that it does respect Apple’s leadership, but it is primarily concerned that this app ban will prevent customers in cannabis legal states from “having access to important information and the ability to better control their cannabis experience.”
P.E.I. raises the minimum vaping and smoking age to 21
P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island) has become the first Canadian province to increase the minimum age for smoking and vaping to 21. This new provision was part of a private member’s bill introduced last week by Progressive Conservative backbencher Cory Deagle.
Like British Columbia’s recent regulations, this new measure hopes to limit the number of teens and young adults vaping. According to Deagle, this new measure was implemented to combat the drastic increase in youth vaping he was seeing in his district of Montague-Kilmuir.
In addition to raising the minimum age of smoking and vaping from 19 to 21, the new regulations will ban the sale of some e-liquid flavours.