WASHINGTON (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin is slamming the White House for seemingly cooling talks on tougher regulations for the vaping industry.
It’s a stark difference from Pres. Donald Trump’s efforts just two months ago when he announced plans to crackdown on flavored tobacco products.
Trump in September said the FDA is considering a policy aimed at getting those products off the shelves without the department’s re-approval.
Sen. Baldwin says two months later, the department still hasn’t finalized that plan.
“We specifically see the president step back and reverse his stance after meeting with industry and other powerful interests,” she said. “It was hugely disappointing. So it was very important to me to get some answers from the FDA.”
Sen. Baldwin pressed the FDA’s head during a Senate hearing last month on the administration's sluggish response to what she's calling a growing problem.
The President’s reversal on federal intervention comes as the number related lung injuries continues to rise.
The Center for Disease Control has confirmed 2,290 cases of e-cig associated lung injuries.
And Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services reported 97 related cases.
“This aspect of it is urgently calling for action,” said Sen. Baldwin.
But the White House is claiming there’s still an appetite for addressing the issue of teen vaping even if the president is backing off on policing of the industry.
“I think the president, as he’s done with the opioid and meth crisis, he’s just not someone who’s going to look the other way when he sees these burgeoning health crisis,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President. “And so he’s still balancing that but you can’t be in a rush to do something without seeing all the facts and the evidence.”
Democrats in the House of Representatives are also expressing disappointment at the president reversal.
The House Oversight Committee will question the head of the FDA about it on Wednesday.