FDA WANTS TO BAN FLAVORED E-CIGS

By Todd Horwitz

FDA Ban for E-Cig Flavors?

The Food and Drug Administration plans to ban the sale of fruity flavors in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, but the restriction won’t apply to tank vaping systems commonly found at vape shops, according to people familiar with the matter.

The action is seen as a compromise between Trump administration officials who want to address a rise in teen vaping and those concerned about the impact on small businesses and the possible political fallout for President Trump, these people said. Polls commissioned by the vaping industry have shown an outright ban would be unpopular in key states for the 2020 election.

Speaking about his administration’s plan to address skyrocketing use of vaping products by youth as well as recent health concerns related to the products, President Donald Trump on Tuesday seemed to insinuate that the flavor bans would be temporary.

“As you know, we’ll be taking it off—the flavors—for a period of time, certain flavors,” Trump told reporters. “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry. Hopefully, if everything’s safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market.”

Federal officials are expected to announce the new plan as soon as Friday. Open-tank vaping devices, which allow users to mix their own nicotine liquids, aren’t popular among children or teenagers, who tend to use vaporizers with prefilled cartridges such as those made by Juul Labs Inc. Open tanks are typically found in vape shops and allow consumers to custom-mix flavors. The new policy, intended to curb a surge in underage vaping, would apply only to pod-based vaporizers such as those made by Juul, NJOY Holdings Inc. and Reynolds American Inc.

It would pull from the market all e-cigarette refill pods except those formulated to taste like tobacco or menthol, the people said, dealing a blow to an industry estimated to have $9 billion in annual revenue. The sweet and fruity flavors that would be banned under the new policy represented about 80 percent of retail-store e-cigarette sales in 2019, according to analyst estimates.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz