Fox News host Sean Hannity vowed to defy the law and proudly vape his e-cig live on air as an FDA ban on Juul products looms.
Hannity, 60, made the claims on his June 22 show during a segment with correspondent Trace Gallagher.
When Gallagher told the host: ‘Juul has been trying to get on the right side of regulators by limiting its marketing and banning mango, mint, other sweet flavors. The company even suggested a vaping device that can only be unlocked if you’re 21.’
He noted that while Juul has the right to appeal a ban, those appeals can take a long time and are expensive.
That’s when Hannity chimed in to say: ‘They ban it, and I’ll do it live on TV and they can come and arrest me. How’s that?;
His comments were met with laughter from Gallagher as Hannity then pivoted straight to the next segment saying: ‘While the Biden FDA wants people to stop vaping, many Democratic-run cities and states, they have no problem decriminalizing even hard drugs, even as overdose deaths are spiking.’
So far, Oregon is the only state where the voters democratically voted to decriminalize small amounts of hard drugs.
Hannity made his comments during a segment with Trace Gallagher discussing the FDA’s ban on Juul products
The looming ban was also brought up on Hannity’s lead-in show, ‘Tonight with Tucker Carlson.’ On his show, Carlson argued that the ban on e-cigarettes would lead to weight gain and low testosterone.
The looming ban on Juul e-cigarettes was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The report does not mention a full ban on all e-cigarettes but rather a ban on Juul products.
The removal of Juul products from shelves could occur as early as this week although the FDA has not confirmed the authenticity of the WSJ report.
The FDA has been analyzing Juul’s data for two years and the ban is likely due to the regulating body feeling as though the company is still marketing to America’s youth.
Juul applied to the FDA in an attempt to stay on the market and sell their tobacco and menthol flavored products.
During the same show, Hannity took aim at the Biden administration’s ‘Build Back Better’ program calling it more like: ‘Settle for less and shut your mouth.’
If Hannity followed through on his pledge, it wouldn’t be the first time that the host vaped on his show. In March 2021, Hannity was caught grabbing a quick drag between segments.
When he realized he was on camera, Hannity could be heard saying: ‘Uh oh’ as he snatched the vape from his mouth.’
Laura Ingraham, whose show comes on after Hannity’s, told her colleague after the gaffe: ‘It happens to the best of us, Hannity. I mean, those little moments are cute. Those are in the forever reel of the real Hannity. We wanna know you!’
Sean Hannity being caught on camera while vaping in 2021
The Wall Street Journal which first reported the FDA’s ban does not mention all e-cigarettes, just Juul products
In May 2017, a similar video leaked showing Hannity puffing on an e-cig during his show. The host wrote on Twitter following that video’s release saying that he had recently given up smoking cigars.
During Donald Trump’s presidency, when Hannity was considered a key advisor to the 45th president, the host was quoted as saying: ‘If you were hearing what I’m hearing, you’d be vaping, too.’
The quote appeared in CNN host Brian Stelter’s 2020 book: ‘Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.’ According to Stelter, Hannity also described Trump as ‘bats**t crazy.’
Juul rocketed to popularity in the U.S. in the 2010s, as its fruit flavored nicotine products became trendy among younger smokers – leading to the company also shouldering blame for increases in teen smoking.
Hannity made comments that compared the Biden administration banning Juul products while ‘legalizing hard drugs’
To limit rises in teen smoking, the FDA banned fruit flavored e-cigarette devices, and forced each company to apply individually to allow their products to remain on shelves. Juul was expected to have its application approved.
The report comes a day after the Biden Administration laid out plans to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to ‘non-addictive’ levels, as part of a greater push to curb smoking in America.
Juul has branded its products as devices that can help those addicted to nicotine slowly ween themselves off safely – as vape devices do not have many of the same downsides as smoking tobacco cigarettes do.
Instead, though, the fruity and mint flavors in many of its devices have led to many children and teens picking up smoking – when they likely would not have otherwise.
This has placed Juul, and the e-cigarette market in general, in the FDA’s crosshairs in recent years.
Juul has branded its products as devices that can help those addicted to nicotine slowly ween themselves off safely
In April 2021, the agency banned menthol flavored cigarettes, while also banning all types of flavored cigars.
Refillable cartridge e-cigarettes that contain fruit or mint flavors were banned as well, though cartridges that are meant to be disposed of are still allowed for sale.
Flavored products in particular are often the target of regulations because they are easier to use as a gateway for people that do not smoke already, since one of the primary deterrents to picking up tobacco is the taste.
It especially plays a role for younger smokers who use vape devices like a Juul.
While they may not enjoy the taste of nicotine, it is much easier to get hooked on the fruity, tasteful, flavors.
‘[The bans last April] will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products,’ the FDA wrote in a statement last year.
‘With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation.’
Under the new rules, a company hoping to market a fruit or mint flavored refillable device must first receive approval from the FDA – which rejected hundreds of them.
To get around these orders, many companies started to use synthetic forms of the drug in their devices to circumvent regulators. That loophole was closed in April.
Disposable e-cigarettes and refillable cartridges account for over 80% of teen tobacco product usage in America
The CDC reports that more than 2.5 million students in the U.S. were ‘current’ users of tobacco products in 2021. This includes 13% of high schoolers and 4% of middle schoolers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also published a study in March finding that more than 2.5 million U.S. students had used a tobacco product of some sort in 2021 – a definition that includes nicotine devices that do not disperse tobacco.
Officials reported that 80 percent of tobacco use was attributable to disposable e-cigarettes and cartridge products – like a Juul.
In the study, around 2.06 million high schoolers – 13 percent of the study population – and four percent of middle schoolers – 470,000 participants – reported ‘current’ tobacco use.