On Friday, November 1st, news began to swirl that the announcement of the federal government’s ban on flavored vape products was imminent. Some speculated it would happen as soon as the following Monday, November 4th.
In response, the vape community unleashed a barrage of tweets, phone calls, and emails to let the President and his administration know that if they ban flavors as they said they would, they would lose the support and votes of millions of people in the 2020 election.
And today, exactly one week after the rumors of an incoming ban began, the President gave a press conference in which he stated that while they will be announcing new rules regarding vaping next week, they are taking steps to ensure that they protect the numerous jobs that exist within the vape industry. He acknowledged that vape has “become a pretty big industry”.
In fact, the only real details he gave about what these new rules will look like focused mainly on the fact that they will be raising the federal minimum age to purchase nicotine to 21. Very little was said about flavors, which is a complete 180-degree-turn from the press conference that he and his administration held on September 11th.
How could Trump’s opinion and attitude toward vaping shift so dramatically in less than 60 days? I mean, this is the same guy who only two months ago went on national television to vilify our entire industry.
The answer is simple; advocacy.
It may feel at times as if our efforts are in vain. As if we are screaming our protests at a brick wall.
But I have to believe that this sudden change of heart from a President who is known to dig his heels in on certain issues is all the evidence any of us should need that consistent and persistent advocacy and activism works.
Granted, when the new rules are released next week it may turn out that everything Trump said today was false and that the flavor ban we’ve all feared has now become a reality. But I have to believe that we have made our impression felt and that Trump knows that if he allows such a ban to happen, it will severely hurt his chances for a second term.
In either case, it is critically important that we continue to push and fight and let it be known that we will not rest until this industry and these products are protected and available to all adults who want and need them. Keep tweeting @realDonaldTrump, @parscale, @FLOTUS, @KellyannePolls, and @JeromeAdamsMD using the hashtag #WeVapeWeVote.
Keep calling the White House at (202) 456-1111 to let them know you will never vote for any candidate who supports a ban on vape products.
Keep emailing the White House to let them know that if they ban flavors, it will cost this administration millions of votes in 2020.