The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing forward in its efforts to restrict the sale of flavored vape products, including fruit-flavored vape juices and e-cigarettes both online, and in convenience stores – two of the most popular purchase venues for the products.
As a result of the new FDA e-cigarettes policy, the agency says it fully expects that some flavored e-cigarettes and vape juices will no longer be sold. (Should you start stockpiling now? Maybe. Learning to make your own juice is also an option.) The FDA also expects that flavored e-cigarettes and vape juices will only be sold in a manner that prevents youth access while premarket authorization is being sought by a new 2021 deadline.
According to the FDA, e-cigarettes pose a significant risk to teens – the agency calls youth vaping an “epidemic’. The new proposed regulations are part of the agency’s plan to curb teen e-cigarette use.
Under the new proposed guidelines, fruit and other flavored cartridges could still be sold at online or at bricks-and-mortar stores that verify the age of customers through a third-party verification system, or that have an age-restricted part of the store. Sales venues for tobacco, menthol, and mint e-cigarettes and vape juices would not be held to the same aggressive age-restricted standards as long as they complied with local and national e-cigarette laws, as they are believed to be less appealing to youth, and more appealing to adults seeking to quit smoking.
Previously, e-cigarettes and vape juices that were already on the market before August 2016 were “grandfathered” and would not require FDA approval. E-cigarettes and vape juices that came to market after August 2016 would have to comply with a vigorous FDA approval process, but would be allowed to stay on the market until the review was completed. The deadline by which the vaping industry was required to comply with that approval process has just been moved up by a year, to 2021.
Outgoing FDA Commissioner Gottlieb said in a statement, “Under the proposed policy announced today, we’re putting all manufacturers and retailers on notice: you may be subject to FDA enforcement for selling certain flavored ENDS products without authorization.”
“We’re proposing to prioritize enforcement of flavored ENDS products (other than tobacco-, mint-, and menthol-flavored) that are offered for sale in ways that pose a greater risk for minors to access the products. For instance, we’ll consider whether the products are sold under circumstances, whether at retail or online, without heightened age verification.”
The plan, according to the FDA announcement, is part of a broader FDA effort to create “a world where combustible cigarettes no longer create or sustain addiction – making it harder for future generations to become addicted in the first place and allowing more currently addicted smokers to quit or transition to potentially less harmful products.”
The FDA aims to reduce the nicotine in combustible cigarettes to levels where it is not addictive.
Soupwire will continue to bring you more on this developing story, as well as the latest vape deals, news, and research.