President Trump will be urged to veto a bill that includes provisions to ban all flavours and online sales.
Currently only flavoured pods are federally banned. The broader Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act bill will reach the House floor later today.
The letter from the Executive Office of the President cites the harm-reduction of e-cigarettes and the lack of evidence supporting a menthol e-liquid ban among its concerns.
“The Administration cannot support H.R. 2339’s counterproductive efforts to restrict access to products that may provide a less harmful alternative to millions of adults who smoke combustible cigarettes.
“This includes the bill’s prohibition of menthol e-liquids, which available evidence indicates are used relatively rarely by youth.”EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503
The Administration also proposes that online sales be restricted via ‘the application of age verification technologies’ instead of a blanket ban.
It also argues that the prohibition of marketing that appeals to youth ‘may not satisfy the stringent vagueness test applied to regulations of speech under the Constitution’s Due Process Clause.’
In its conclusion, The Administration reaffirmed its position that a new tobacco-control agency should be established.
“The bill takes the wrong approach to tobacco regulation.
“Rather than continuing to focus on the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Congress should implement President Trump’s Budget proposal to create a new, more directly accountable agency within the Department of Health and Human Services to focus on tobacco regulation.
“This new agency would be led by a Senate-confirmed Director and would have greater capacity to respond to the growing complexity of tobacco products and respond effectively to tobacco-related public health concerns.”
The bill has also met opposition from Democratic leaders, who argue that a ban on menthol and flavoured tobacco for hookahs will fuel over-policing of black communities.