“Bans don’t work,” he stated. “They by no means have.”
Mr. Trump has additionally been beneath an intense lobbying marketing campaign over the previous seven weeks, waged by tobacco and vaping corporations, together with conservative organizations, like People for Tax Reform, that are against regulatory limits that might have an effect on retailers, small companies and grownup customers of e-cigarettes. Some have promoted implementing gross sales restrictions to guard minors, or elevating the nationwide age to 21 for gross sales of all tobacco merchandise.
The trajectory of the flavour ban — from a daring pronouncement of swift motion to a fizzle after the political realities of taking such an motion emerge — is just like Mr. Trump’s stance on gun laws. Months after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio, when Mr. Trump stated he wished to cross “very significant background checks,” warnings from gun rights advocates and Republican lawmakers in regards to the political fallout that might end result from doing that in the end led to no motion on the difficulty.
Contained in the White Home, the flavour ban has additionally develop into a proxy concern for a way his advisers see Mr. Trump’s path to re-election. In a single camp are those that imagine he ought to attempt to win again suburban ladies, together with moms of youngsters who would presumably fear about their youngsters changing into hooked on nicotine. Within the different are those that advise him to imagine that voting bloc wouldn’t favor him anyway and to focus solely on energizing his base.
Mr. Parscale had flagged to Mr. Trump after he first introduced his intention to ban most flavored e-cigarettes that it might damage him together with his base. Mr. Parscale and different advisers warned Mr. Trump to decelerate, and announce he was going to take time finding out the difficulty, telling him ban may depress turnout in essential states.
These political issues weren’t with out benefit: E-cigarette customers have held protests exterior the White Home and outdoors Trump rallies that they could have attended beneath different circumstances. Protesters have additionally raised issues in regards to the potential closing of 1000’s of vape retailers, which they stated would damage the financial system and value jobs throughout the nation.
However it isn’t clear whether or not pro-vaping activists are one-issue voters.
Whereas some recommendation to Mr. Trump was grounded in polling, some was primarily based on a gut-level understanding of Trump voters: Taking away the best to smoke or vape can be one thing akin to taking away firearms.
Within the opposing camp is Kellyanne Conway, a prime White Home adviser and Mr. Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign supervisor, who has been telling colleagues and the president that it’s a mistake to imagine, as Mr. Parscale and others have accomplished, that suburban mothers who care deeply a few public well being disaster for youngsters have abandoned Mr. Trump for good.