For all of the praise that supporters of President Donald Trump heap on their chosen one because he’s supposedly so tough and bullish and takes no prisoners and doesn’t follow convention when it’s time to get something done or make a deal, in one respect he’s pretty much like most every other politician:
Trump delivers tough talk, most likely through a tweet, but before long he’s backtracking when reality doesn’t match with his constant bluster that he bombards the Twitter-verse with 24-hours a day in bursts that max out at 280 characters.
The president’s talk and actions regarding e-cigarettes and vaping are just the latest example.
Earlier this year, when vapers across the country suffered severe lung damage and some of them even died as a result, there was an outcry by health experts from coast to coast to take bold action. Subsequently, Trump offered his predictable bluster, saying that vaping was causing a lot of problems and “we’re going to have to do something about it.”
There was talk of a ban on all vape flavors, which e-cig users, but especially young users, are so attracted to.
But adult vapers and Trump supporters responded enthusiastically, saying that e-cigs had been the salvation that got them to finally be able to kick their dreadful habit of smoking traditional cigarettes. There was a suggestion that a total vape flavor ban would cost Trump votes.
As a result, the focus shifted to youth vaping, and next year federal legislation will kick in prohibiting anyone under 21 from purchasing e-cigs and more traditional tobacco products. That’s a positive development.
But, boy, did JUUL and other companies that have made mountains of cash off getting kids hooked on vaping get mad. Their lobbyists made it known that the industry wasn’t going to take such bold action to limit their profits and presence in the marketplace lying down.
So talk of a total ban of flavors became watered down, and last week made the following statement, trying, impossibly, to please everyone: “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry. The flavors will come off – they’re going to be checked. People have died from this. They’ve died from vaping."
Trump hinted that soon his administration would announce a ban on a couple of the e-cig flavors that are most popular with youth, the super-popular mint among them. But the “tobacco” and “menthol” flavors and other, more fruity varieties will remain on the market.
But, apparently, according to Trump’s words a couple days later last week, any limitations placed on flavors will be short-lived. “Hopefully everything will be back on the market very, very shortly," he said.
What sense does that possibly make?
What we’re witnessing here is just another politician who might like to do something that has an impact deemed by the voting masses to be more positive than negative. But, then, when supporters threaten to revolt in the voting booth and big-money special interests get up in arms and start twisting arms in Washington, D.C., it’s major backtrack time.
Trump, he’s just a waffler. Tough talk is one thing, but when actions don’t back it up, he very much resembles the typical politician he claims not to be.