FDA to launch new restrictions on e-cigarette flavors, store sales

Darnell Taylor
November 11, 2018

A senior official with the Food and Drug Administration told the Washington Post these restrictions on the sale of flavored e-cigs could happen as soon as next week.

Preliminary government data shows e-cigarette sales have risen 77 percent among high schoolers and 50 percent among middle schoolers in 2018, which means that 3.5 million minors have been vaping throughout 2018. Menthol cigarettes are the second most popular among young people, so he's loosely cutting that supply too.

The FDA's flavor restrictions would exclude menthol, meaning menthol and mint vape products would still be allowed to be sold in convenience stores and gas stations - until the FDA removes menthol cigarettes from the market.

The FDA launched a crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes earlier this year, as the number of teens using the products reached epidemic proportions, The Times reported.

The companies have previously said their products are intended for adult use and that they work to ensure retailers comply with the law.

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Altria last month announced it would stop selling its pod-based electronic cigarettes, generally smaller devices that use pre-filled nicotine liquid cartridges, in response to the FDA's concerns about teen usage.

Although vaping is generally considered a less unsafe alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products, health officials have warned nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains.

"E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous - and risky - trend among teens", Gottlieb said in September.

"The big answer is we don't know, we have no idea what the long-term use of e-cigarettes is", Krugman said.

There has been mounting pressure for action after preliminary federal data showed teenage use had surged by more than 75 percent since previous year, and the FDA has described it as an "epidemic".

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