Donald Trump clumsily calls Barron ‘son of Melania’ as he proposes to ban flavored e-cigarettes
Donald Trump raised his eyebrows when he awkwardly referred to Barron as ‘son of Melania’ as he proposed to ban flavored e-cigarettes.
The US President praised the First Lady for highlighting the health risks of vaping for young people during a press conference.
He said vaping had become a “giant business in a very short time” and insisted: “We can’t let people get sick and we can’t have our young people affected as well”.
He continued, “And that’s how the first lady got involved. She has a son… Together. He’s a handsome young man, and she’s very, very sensitive to that.”
Twitter users were quick to comment on the correction, with one writing, “’She has a son’, not ‘we have a son’. I bet Barron feels all warm and fuzzy.
Mr Trump’s apparent slip-up came as he announced the government’s plan to ban thousands of flavored e-cigarette products after a string of deaths.
The surprise White House announcement comes in response to a recent surge in underage vaping that has alarmed parents, politicians and health officials across the United States.
The proposed flavor ban could remake the multi-billion dollar vaping industry, which has been boosted by sales of flavored nicotine formulas such as “grape slushie” and “strawberry cotton candy”.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be tasked with developing guidelines to remove all e-cigarette flavors, except tobacco, from the U.S. market, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. during the Oval Office press conference.
Trump’s first public comments on vaping also come as health officials investigate six deaths and hundreds of reported respiratory illnesses in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
No devices, ingredients or additives have been identified, although many cases allegedly involve marijuana vaping.
The restrictions announced by the authorities would only apply to nicotine vaping products, which are regulated by the FDA.
The FDA has had the power to ban vaping flavors since 2016, but has previously resisted calls to do so.
Instead, agency officials said they were studying whether flavorings could help smokers quit traditional cigarettes.
But parents, teachers and health advocates have increasingly called for a crackdown on enticing strains, arguing they are the majority responsible for the explosion of vaping among American minors, pointing to trendy devices such as Juul e-cigarettes.
“It’s taken far too long to stop Juul and other e-cigarette companies from targeting children in our country with sugary-flavored, nicotine-laden products,” said Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. in a press release.
Federal law prohibits e-cigarettes and all other tobacco sales to those under the age of 18.
But federal health officials revealed Wednesday that preliminary data shows more than 1 in 4 high school students reported vaping this year, up from 1 in 5 students in 2018.
Federal health officials have called the trend an “epidemic” and they fear teens who vape may eventually start smoking.
More than 80% of underage teens who use e-cigarettes say they chose their product because it “comes in flavors I like,” according to government surveys.
A ban on flavors would be a blow to companies like San Francisco-based Juul, which sells mint, fruit and dessert flavored nicotine pods.
Juul and others have argued that their products are intended to help adult smokers wean themselves off traditional paper and tobacco cigarettes.
But a Juul spokesperson said in a statement that the company “strongly” agrees with the need for “aggressive action” on flavors.
“We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when it becomes effective,” he said.