Washington — The vaping industry is taking its fight against a proposed national ban on flavored e-cigarettes to the airwaves with an ad campaign designed to push President Trump to abandon the effort.
The Vapor Technology Association, an industry trade group with more than 1,000 members, said it launched a six-figure ad buy in West Palm Beach, Florida, targeting the president and urging him to preserve access to flavored vaping products.
Mr. Trump is spending the holidays at his South Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, located in Palm Beach.
The 30-second spot from the Vapor Technology Association began airing Sunday on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, the president's favored network, and features two Ohio voters making an appeal directly to the president.
One of the voters in the ad, Jeff Kathman of Cincinnati, said he supported Mr. Trump in 2016 but warned he will not back the president again in 2020 if he moves forward with his effort to remove flavored vapor products from the market.
"If you enact a flavor ban, this will cost you the election," Kathman said.
The second voter featured in the ad, Sarah Rutland, claimed that 545,000 registered voters in Ohio vape. The Vapor Technology Association argues that banning flavored e-cigarettes will drive people to cigarettes or lead users to purchase illicit vaping products on the black market.
Mr. Trump announced in September his administration was exploring a ban on most e-flavored e-cigarettes amid concerns of an increase in teen vaping and a rise in lung diseases and deaths associated with vaping.
Lung injuries linked to e-cigarette use peaked in September, but the number of new cases has been declining since then, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Trump administration has not made any significant movement to outlaw flavored vaping products, but Mr. Trump convened a meeting with stakeholders and experts in November.
Congress also enacted a law that raises the legal age to purchase tobacco or vaping products from 18 to 21. The provision was included in a $1.4 trillion spending package signed by Mr. Trump on December 20.
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