Jan. 3 (UPI) — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday ordered a ban on most cartridge-based e-cigarette flavors, including mint and fruit flavors aimed at children.
The FDA ordered companies to cease the manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes — with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavors — within 30 days.
Companies that fail to stop making the specified products available could face enforcement action by the FDA, including fines and seizure of products.
“As we work to combat the troubling epidemic to youth e-cigarette use, the enforcement policy we’re issuing today confirms our commitment to dramatically limit children’s access to certain flavored e-cigarette products we know are appealing to them,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.
The order delivers another blow to the vaping industry, which had sales to those under 21 put in place in a federal spending bill signed by Trump in December.
The movement against the vaping industry appeared to address concerns highlighted by a December survey released by the National Institutes of Health that revealed 14 percent of high school seniors saying they vaped marijuana, doubling the rate from 2019.
“We needed major surgery and instead what we got is a bad Band-Aid,” Robin Koval, chief executive and president of TruthInitiative, said.
Harold Wimmer, president of the American Lung Association issued a statement pointedly criticizing the proposal.
“The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed to hear reports that the administration intends to release guidance that will allow menthol-flavored Juul and thousands of flavors of e-cigarettes sold in vape shops to remain on the market,” Wimmer said.
“The White House’s proposed plan is not a ‘compromise.’ This proposal will only compromise the health of our nation’s children. It is disturbing to see the results of industry lobbying to undermine public health protections, especially when the health and lives of our nation’s youth are at stake,” he added.
Others, like American Vaping Association President Greg Conley, argue that the legislation will make a difference.
“The products being impacted appear to be significant contributors to the recent rise in teen usage,” Conley said. “To say this is not going to do anything is pure political rhetoric.”
Vaping industry leader Juul had already stopped e-cigarette pods to that age group and the new law is expected to have little effect on them. The company’s main rivals, NJOY and Vuse, had hoped to fill the space vacated by Juul and stand the lose the most with the new law.