As a parent of a two-year-old, I can’t stand it when people vape around my daughter, so I was thrilled when I heard President Trump wants to ban, or severely limit, the availably of vaping devices and e-cigarettes. But, let’s not get it twisted. I’m not going to go out and buy a red baseball cap and start retweeting Kayne West just yet. Trump’s latest pet-project is about campaign donations, not protecting the health of kids.
In a bizarre press conference on Wednesday — in which Trump seemed confused about his parentage relative to his son Barron — the President indicated he wanted to ban vaping and e-cigarettes. Exactly what his version of new regulations would entail is unclear, but it’s almost certainly in response to the news at least six vaping-related deaths as well as a new CDC warning about e-cigarettes, Juuls, and other similar vaping products. A former cigarette smoker, there’s no way I can be objective about the dangers of all of this stuff, which is also why it’s infuriating when you realize Trump doesn’t really care about taking care of our lungs. All he really wants is to make big tobacco happy.
One of the largest cigarette manufacturers in the world, Reynolds American and Altria Group, donated at least $1.5 million to Trump’s campaign in 2016. So, right there, you automatically know exactly how much Trump cares about nicotine products and the impact of smoking on national health. In his bumbling press conference, Trump made a pointed reference to the dangers of nicotine addiction, too, which really, just scanned like a dog-whistle to his allies in big tobacco, and the message is: Don’t worry fellas, I’m going to come down hard on Juul and other traditional tobacco alternatives to help you guys drive profits.