WASHINGTON, D.C. — In his push to ban flavored vaping products, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) took part in a round table discussion held by President Donald Trump.
Sen. Romney is working on bi-partisan legislation that would ban flavored vaping products across the nation.
“We got almost six million kids addicted to nicotine and they are getting addicted to nicotine because of the flavors,” Sen. Romney said. “They thought it was just a candy type product.”
At times, the discussion turned into a shouting match. Executives from the vaping industry argued a ban would unfairly impact adults who vape as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. They added, it would impact many locally owned businesses and put thousands of workers at risk of losing their jobs.
Sen. Romney fired back.
“You’re talking about 100 kids addicted for one employee, typically minimum wage. I put the kids first,” Sen. Romney said. “They are not going to all go out of business because they can’t sell flavors.”
In recent weeks, President Trump has softened his stance on a potential ban. At times during the roundtable, he seemed to signal he is not on board with such a strict regulation and cautioned that a ban may bring problems of its own.
“Isn’t it just going to be sold illegally? Somebody is going to open up a shop in China and ship it in,” President Trump said. “They are going to be selling stuff on the street corner that could be horrible.”
While Utah’s junior senator and the President seem far apart on this issue, both agreed finding a solution to the vaping epidemic is needed to protect children.
“Utah is a Mormon state,” Sen. Romney said. “Half the kids in high school are vaping. They wouldn’t have used these products.”
“We want to take care of our kids,” President Trump said as the meeting ended. “We got to take care of our kids.”