ARLINGTON, VA. – First Lady Melania Trump warned of the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping during a drug-free awareness event Monday with “Breaking Bad” actor Dean Norris.
“It is important to me that we all work to educate children and families about the dangers associated with this habit,” Trump told about the crowd of about 300. “Marketing this addictive product to children must stop.”
The First Lady initially sounded the alarm about vaping on Sept. 9 on Twitter, saying she was “deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children.”
President Trump announced in the Oval Office on Sept. 11 that he’d work to ban the sale of flavored vaping liquid, which has been linked to mysterious lung illnesses.
The First Lady and the president said they have warned their son, Barron, to stay away from the flavored e-cigarettes.
“We haven’t told him anything except, ‘Don’t vape. Don’t vape.’ We don’t like vaping. I don’t like vaping,” President Trump said last month of Barron, 13.
Melania Trump’s visit to the Drug Enforcement Administration was the first ever for a First Lady, according to Acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon. He said this year’s red ribbon campaign is especially important because “we are beginning to see progress” in the fight against the opioid addition, citing a 5 percent drop in overdoses.
“There is still much more work to be done but we are seeing meaningful improvement,” Dhillon said.
It was also an important day for Norris who was the MC of the event. He played DEA Special Agent Hank Schrader on “Breaking Bad.”
“It’s my first time at the DEA headquarters.” Norris said, noting the role will always have a “special place in my heart.”
The national red ribbon campaign started in honor of Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena who was killed by drug traffickers in Mexico in 1985. His widow, Mika, joined the First Lady at the event. During red ribbon week Oct. 23-31, students take a pledge to live a drug-free lifestyle.
Norris and Dhillon were wearing the red ribbon metal pins at the event, while Melania Trump did not have one on her black dress. The East Wing said the First Lady was not given a pin in advance of the event.
Norris said afterwards he thought the DEA headquarters was “nice.” He didn’t get a chance to meet the First Lady before or after the event.
“I did not personally,” Norris said. “Next time.”