News & Politics

FDA Issues E-Cig Flavor Ban

JUUL E-Cigarette (Image via Wikipedia)

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a ban on convenience stores selling flavored e-cigarettes.

This means that people who want to quit smoking or have quit smoking and need to obtain their nicotine replacement will not be able to do it conveniently in a gas station or a convenience store.  The FDA wants to curb a purported a teen e-cig “epidemic” and posits that manufactures make flavored e-cigs to lure children into using their product and addicting themselves to nicotine. Therefore they have decided to punish the manufacturers instead of the retailers who are illegally selling the nicotine product to children.

The FDA is making the move despite evidence that switching to an e-cig from smoking tobacco dramatically reduces the health risks that smokers face. JUUL, the manufacturer of one of the most popular e-cig, has conducted a study that shows flavored e-cigs help smokers ditch their tobacco habit. Instead the Agency has made a deadly calculation that it’s better to complicate the path to quitting smoking for adults than it is to risk that the e-cig product gets in the hands of a teen.

“E-cigarette use among kids has become so widespread, so pervasive, and so troubling, that we risk addicting an entire generation of children on nicotine and watching the dramatic gains we’ve made in reducing smoking rates be erased,” said FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, who plans to step down sometime over the next month.

I wonder if he will end up working for a drug company that manufactures nicotine gum or the nicotine patch. Any wagers?

Under the proposed restrictions, expected to be finalized and implemented within the next few months, brick-and-mortar stores will be barred from selling e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco, mint and menthol unless they prevent minors from entering the store altogether or create a separate section of the store that minors can’t enter. Meanwhile, websites that sell flavored vaping products must curb bulk purchases and use third-party age-verification services.

Shame on the FDA.