September 23, 2019

Two weeks ago, President Trump announced that the Food and Drug Administration will soon ban flavored e-cigarettes, crediting first lady Melania Trump's advocacy for the ban. Very quickly, conservative groups and the vaping industry jumped into action, Axios reports, and now "conservative leaders are circulating data to White House staff" showing that "the number of adult vapers in key battleground states greatly outweighs the margins by which Trump won those states in 2016 — and they argue it could cost him reelection."

"While parents may be concerned about e-cigarettes, the people who genuinely care about vaping as a voting issue so far outweighs the number of people Trump needs to win in 2020 that they are royally screwing themselves by doing this," Americans for Tax Reform's Paul Blair tells Axios. An industry lobbyist added that suburban moms concerned about vaping "don't have the same voter intensity on this as adult vapers do." Trump was supposed to hold a listening session with vaping supporters, including lobbyists, last Thursday, but the meeting was canceled, Axios says.

There are reasons to doubt the arguments about vaping's effect on the election, Axios notes, including the iffy assumptions that significant numbers of vapers "are single-issue voters around vaping rights" and "wouldn't vape anymore if they couldn't get the flavors," but "the math can't be totally ignored, especially in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin where Trump's 2016 win margins were so narrow and the number of adult vapers is relatively high."

That said, maybe Trump has bigger issues than angry vapers. Peter Weber

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