Merkley Slams Trump’s Capitulation to Big Tobacco

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, the top Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), today released the following statement regarding reports that President Trump blocked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from issuing a proposed ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The proposed ban was designed to protect children from vaping, as data from 2019 shows surging e-cigarette usage among middle and high school students with 5.3 million kids now vaping. Sweet flavors—including candy, fruit, and mint flavors—have proven especially attractive to teenagers.

“Yet again, President Trump is going spineless in the face of corporate lobbying. The health of millions of American children will suffer. For years, e-cigarette companies have been given free rein by the FDA to pursue a massively successful strategy of addicting a new generation on nicotine, targeting middle and high school students with social media influencers and sweet flavors blatantly designed to appeal to children. Now, finally, the FDA is ready to act—but President Trump has apparently ordered them to stand down in the face of an industry lobbying campaign.”