from a national policy perspective, as a top Food and Drug Administration official wavered on Wednesday when asked whether the Trump administration will follow through with it's rumored ban of flavors for eLiquids. For those of us fortunate enough to operate in states where there aren't currently any restrictions in place, we're left wondering if we should even bother restocking our shelves from week to week. After all, what's the point of spending thousands of dollars on inventory that could the very next day be declared illegal, and thus worthless?
Trump health officials are currently telling lawmakers there is no final answer as of right now. Back in September the administration was supposedly all in on a flavor ban, with other unknown regulations potentially in the mix, but the policy appears to have come to a complete standstill since then.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday grilled Mitch Zeller, current director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, about when the FDA would be enacting some kind of ban or other speculated regulations. Zeller repeatedly deferred questions to the White House, prompting visible frustration from some senators who probably want to see vaping gone forever so they can move onto blaming some other thing they can collect money from some other industries for the failures of parenting the government is so eager to step in and fix.
“I think any questions about the current state of policy really needs to be directed to the White House,” Zeller said basically over and over, continuing; “We are in a deliberative process. The White House made an announcement in September, and we are working to advance a policy consistent with taking steps to do everything that we can to protect kids from these products.”
Senator Tim Kaine read the September announcement aloud and asked Zeller on whether the Trump administration still intends to clear the market of flavorings for eLiquids while continuing to allow cigarettes to be sold and readily available in every corner store across the country. Zeller said he understands Kaine’s frustration with his inability to share more detailed information, because he quite frankly has none, but then in a child like act of pointless political drama Kaine cut him off, trying to be relevant to something for once in his life, saying he was not asking about details.
Zeller trying to be the adult in the room continued to say all he knows is that the administration is continuing to advance a policy to address youth e-cigarette use, before again being cut off by the Prima donna senator from Virginia. “Let me ask you this,” Kaine said, “do you know the answer to my question?” to which Zeller replied; “There is no final answer on the policy question, that’s why we continue to have these discussions internally”
What do you think about this delay on action in regards to the vape industry? Will we see cooler heads prevail? Is the reason this is taking so long potentially because people in the administration are taking their time to sort through the facts? Or is this just another delay tactic while they do the political calculus?