Trump says forthcoming vape policy may raise age requirement to 21

President Trump said his administration is expected to release a new policy on vaping next week that will explore an age requirement “of 21 or so.”

“We have to take care of our kids most importantly,” Trump said, as he was leaving the White House on Friday. “So we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so, but we will be coming out with something next week very important on vaping. We have a lot of people to look at including jobs, frankly, because it’s become a very big industry but we’re going to take care of it.”

“There’s also, when you mention vaping you’re talking about e-cigarettes you’re talking about a lot of different things, but we’re coming out with a big paper next week,” he told reporters.

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Trump’s announcement comes on the heels of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update that on Thursday reported 39 vaping-related deaths across 24 states, and an additional 2,051 illnesses. Each state excluding Alaska has reported cases of e-cigarette, or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI) to the health agency.

All EVALI patients had a reported a history of using e-cigarette or vaping products, with most cases involving a THC-containing product.

“The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other information sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak,” the CDC said on Thursday.

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The agency is expected to hold a tele-briefing later on Friday to provide updates on its investigation into the illnesses.

The White House’s age requirement follows similar proposals like those put forth by Wisconsin lawmakers, who plan to hold a public hearing next week to limit the sale of vaping and other tobacco products to people over age 21. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have already passed similar measures raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco, nicotine and vaping products to 21.

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The CDC said that regardless of the ongoing outbreak, youths, young adults and women who are pregnant should never use e-cigarettes or vaping products. Adults who currently do not use tobacco products are also advised against using e-cigarette or vaping products.

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