US unveils ban on flavored e-cigarettes
The US government announced it banned most flavored e-cigarettes in a bid but under industry pressure it stopped short of the ban promised by the White House in September. The change will take effect outlawing capsules with fruit, candy and mint flavors, which are especially popular with young people.
Juul, the e-cigarette industry leader, had anticipated the decision and withdrew those flavors in the US, leaving only tobacco and menthol. The ban will exempt large rechargeable vaping devices, however, which are sold in shops that cater to adults.
“The kids simply are not using in any material level the open tank vaping systems,” he added. Companies that don’t cease selling and making cartridges will face punishment, the FDA said, without demonstrating the sanctions.
“The United States has never seen an outbreak of substance use appear as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes,” Azar said in a different statement. “We aim to find out whether e-cigarettes could function as an effective off ramp for adult smokers addicted to combustible cigarettes.
In late summer, a health crisis marked by severe and deadly lung disorders added among youths to concerns over the success of Juul products. Some 28 per cent of high school seniors said they’d vaped according to a government survey in 2019, compared with around 11 percent in 2016.
Azar had said in September following a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office that all flavors would be prohibited in an effort to curb youth vaping. His announcement triggered a pressure campaign from the vaping and tobacco industries for the government. On Thursday, demonstrators chanted “We vape! As Trump’s limo drove in Florida.
The business push highlighted the threat that Trump could lose votes from the 2020 election due to the ban. Trump said he would finally settle for increasing the minimum age for purchasing products, and the US Congress obliged late December prohibiting both e-cigarette and tobacco sales.
The change is due to take effect.
Over vaping products that the FDA has had authority and a specific pre-market authorization was needed to sell any of these. However, the agency chose not to apply the rule. It preferred to watch the market evolved that vaping could become a public health solution for tobacco smokers who wish to stop.
Flavors other than menthol and tobacco will be banned starting in February for cartridge-based e-cigarettes. For other types of e-cigarettes, all flavors will remain authorized. However, all products will have to ask a pre-market authorization by May. They will be able to remain on the market for up to 12 months later.
Azar said prioritizing tastes most widely used by children would ensure e-cigarettes were not an”on-ramp” to nicotine addiction for kids. “We won’t stand idly by as this crisis among America’s youth grows and evolves, and we will keep on monitoring the situation and take additional actions as necessary,” he added.