Trump backing off banning vaping flavors popular with teens

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is backing away from the idea of banning most flavored e-cigarettes.

Trump announced a proposed ban in September, saying he wanted parents to be aware of what a problem vaping had become among teens. He made the announcement in the presence of first lady Melania Trump, who does not believe e-cigarettes should be available to children.

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But two White House and campaign officials say Trump has since grown reluctant to move forward after becoming convinced that such a step could alienate voters he needs for re-election who would be financially or otherwise affected by such a ban.

The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Lobbyists, conservative groups and Republican lawmakers have also warned Trump that a vaping crackdown could cost him with voters.

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The American Heart Association is urging President Trump to implement the ban.

AMA CEO Nancy Brown issued a statement Monday in response to the announcement saying, "We are deeply troubled by reports that politics may be interfering with policy that would prevent children from the dangers of e-cigarettes. We remain hopeful the Trump administration will listen to the concerns expressed by the First Lady and millions of parents and move forward with plans to remove all flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, from the market."

WLS-TV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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