By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

Trump Holds White House Vaping Meeting

The vaping conversation has drawn the attention of everyone on Capitol Hill, and it’s been a contentious debate so far. Tensions were high at the White House during a meeting with smoking cessation advocates after the Trump administration decided to step back from promises to ban flavored vaping products.

The health policy community is pushing hard to educate and convince the president that letting up would be a fatal mistake in the fight for smoking cessation, but the president was skeptical and pointed to alcohol prohibition and its boomerang effect on regulation in the 1920s. However, congressional representatives don’t share the same opinion, and the bipartisan effort to control marketing, sales, and distribution—especially to underage users—of flavored e-cigarettes may win out in an election year.

Dems, GOP at Stalemate on Drug Pricing

For many Americans, the soaring costs of prescription medications is a key health policy issue evident in their daily lives. Both the Trump administration and Democrats have been vocal about finding ways to lower drug prices for Americans. But bipartisan cooperation came to a halt after President Trump decried House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent drug pricing legislation. Neither the GOP nor the Trump Administration has put forth a competing plan, drawing ire from voters and the health policy community alike.

In a contentious election year, successful drug pricing legislation is not likely to pass, but it will remain a top issue for presidential candidates. In the interim, oncology nurses must ensure that policymakers understand financial toxicity and its impact on patient care.

DC Sues Juul for Underage Marketing Tactics

Washington, DC, like many other local and state jurisdictions, is joining the fight against the youth smoking epidemic by suing Juul—the industry’s leading vaping manufacturer—for focusing its marketing tactics on underage users. The states in litigation with Juul are not questioning the company’s right to produce the product but rather claiming that it intentionally deployed a marketing campaign designed to entice underage smoking, including selling flavors that appealed to children.

Without any legislation from Congress, the court system is just another route smoking cessation advocates can take to effect change for public health. Advocacy groups are hoping the law will be on their side to see a dramatic shift in how tobacco and vaping products are marketed and sold, with considerable new regulations on targeting children.