FDA cracks down on E-Cig products



By Marcel Penaranda, CONTRIBUTOR

The Food and Drug Administration plans to stringently regulate flavored e-cigarette products by late 2022 across the United States in an attempt to reduce the popularity of vaping and smoking among those under 18 years of age.
The FDA announced a plan on Nov. 15, 2018 that would regulate the sale of flavored e-cigarette and tobacco products throughout convenience stores, vape shops and tobacco retailers in an effort to bring the teen vaping epidemic to a halt.
Data from the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey depicts an astonishing increase of e-cigarette products use among middle and high school students, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“From 2017 to 2018, there was a 78 percent increase in current e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48 percent increase among middle school students,” according to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a press release he hopes to reverse the trend of “kid-appealing” flavors in Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS.
New rules to come may require convenience stores to keep flavored e-cigarettes “under the counter, out of sight and inaccessible to minors.” The mandate “to make nicotine products less accessible and less appealing” is a progressive step towards youth nicotine prevention.
Juul Labs, the San Francisco company that leads the e-cigarette market at 75.8 percent market share, responded on their website in November 2018 to the FDA ban stating they would stop the in-store sale of pods with flavors such as creme, cucumber, fruit, and mango.
Dodging the full ban on e-cigarette sales, Juul continues to sell mint and menthol flavored products maintaining its presence in stores.
Leading the nation in restricting access to tobacco, California has already raised the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21 in 2016.
Despite the decrease in cigarette smoking from the new law, e-cigarette usage increased during this time. With new laws and propositions, youth vaping and smoking may see a downtrend by late 2022.