During a raucous meeting at the White House on Friday with public health officials, vaping industry representatives and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney... (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. SENATOR MITT ROMNEY, SAYING: “We have to put the kids first." ...President Donald Trump expressed concerns that enacting his administration’s proposed ban on many flavored e-cigarette and vaping products would lead to people obtaining them illegally.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "The one thing I see, though, is you watch Prohibition.
You look at, you know, with the alcohol.
You look at cigarettes.
You look at all of it.
If you don't give it to them, it's going to come here illegally... You have to look at the history of it.
And now, instead of having a flavor that's at least safe, they're going to be having a flavor that's poison.
That's a big problem." Trump also raised worries that illegal e-cigarette and vaping products could be substandard.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Isn't that going to be sold, you know, illegally?
Or somebody's going to open up a shop in China and ship it in with flavors and you don't know what standard you're getting?
Isn't that a problem?" The Trump administration said in September it would unveil a sweeping ban on most e-cigarette and vaping flavors seen as attracting young users to addictive nicotine products amid public alarm over a mysterious U.S. vaping-related respiratory illness.
But concerns about the potential loss of jobs has prompted Trump to revisit the issue.
At one point, the president of the American Vaping Association accused the industry’s critics of being funded by another billionaire politician.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) AMERICAN VAPING ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT GREG CONLEY, SAYING: "Michael Bloomberg, who is no friend to your presidency, he is funding $160 million to try to ban these flavors And many people in this room are recipients of those monies.
Trump reiterated on Friday his administration was considering raising the age to buy such products to 21.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Do you agree on 21?" But he indicated that no final decision had been made.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: “We’ll let you know.”