Melania Trump wants e-cigarette companies to stop marketing to underage youth.
In a speech Monday at the Drug Enforcement Agency, the first lady said teenagers and young adults who suffer from addiction, including to e-cigarettes, need to be encouraged to admit they have a problem and get help.
“It is important to me that we all work to educate children and families about the dangers associated with this habit,” she said. “Marketing this addictive product to children must stop.”
Melania Trump was one of the driving forces behind President Trump‘s crackdown on flavored vaping products.
Last month, she tweeted her concerns about a “growing epidemic” of youth vaping and sat beside her husband in the Oval Office when the president announced that all non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors will be removed from the market until they go through regulatory reviews.
President Trump mentioned his 13-year-old son Barron and the first lady’s worry that he could also become addicted to vaping.
“We can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump said at the time. “And I’m hearing it — that’s how the first lady got involved.”
Youth vaping has skyrocketed in the past year, driven largely by teenagers becoming drawn to sweet and fruit-flavored e-cigarette pods easily accessible in stores.
E-cigarette companies have been adamant they never deliberately targeted underage youth in their advertising campaigns.
Juul Labs, the nation’s largest vaping company, has said it supports efforts to raise the legal tobacco purchasing age to 21. The company also recently said it will stop advertising its products in the U.S.