FDA Officially Bans Fruit- And Mint-Flavored Vaping Cartridges


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially banned fruit- and mint-flavored e-cigarette cartridges currently on the market as a result of the vaping illness epidemic that caused lung diseases and deaths over the past year.

The FDA announced its new policy on Thursday, saying that any e-cigarette company that does not cease the manufacture, distribution, and sale of the flavoured e-cigarette products within 30 days will have to deal with FDA enforcement actions. There’s one crucial exception: Vape shops will still be able to sell flavoured tank vaping systems.

The enforcement policy bans all current products on the market until safer and better-regulated products can be produced. In its announcement, the FDA said, “Importantly, the FDA’s enforcement priorities are not a ‘ban’ on flavoured or cartridge-based ENDS. The FDA has already accepted and begun a review of several premarket applications for flavoured ENDS products through the pathway that Congress established in the Tobacco Control Act.”

The FDA will issue guidance soon that bans pod- and cartridge-based vaping products that contain flavours other than tobacco and menthol, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday. The move has been the subject of intense rumours since just before Christmas.

The action will not apply to open-system products like bottled e-liquid and mods.

The move is described by White House insiders as a compromise between the complete flavour ban some Trump administration officials (and Trump family members) want, and the hands-off approach Trump campaign officials have sought. The administration announced a ban on all flavoured products in September, then backed off its plan after grassroots opposition from vapers and small businesses appeared to threaten Trump’s reelection chances.

The ban will mostly affect RJ Reynolds (Vuse), Imperial Tobacco (Blu), and independent e-cigarette pioneer NJOY. All three companies sell pod- and cartridge-based products in fruit flavours, mostly in c-stores and gas stations. Convenience store market leader JUUL stopped selling flavours other than tobacco and menthol last year.


“As we work to combat the troubling epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, the enforcement policy we’re issuing today confirms our commitment to dramatically limit children’s access to certain flavoured e-cigarette products we know are so appealing to them — so-called cartridge-based products that are both easy to use and easily concealable. We will continue to use our full regulatory authority thoughtfully and thoroughly to tackle this alarming crisis that’s affecting children, families, schools and communities,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said, in the FDA’s official announcement.

Tobacco- and menthol-flavoured e-cigarettes are not a part of the ban and will still be available for purchase.

Some states have already banned the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes amid health concerns. These states include New YorkMassachusettsMichigan, and California. President Donald Trump also called for a nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarettes back in September.

According to polling data from YouGov published in October, a majority of Americans support a federal vape ban; 52% support a ban at the federal level and 29% oppose a ban, according to results shared with Digital Trends. In addition, most of those polled doubt e-cigarettes truly help people quit smoking cigarettes. Studies consistently show e-cigarette smokers are less likely to quit than regular smokers who have never used these kinds of devices

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This is better than a complete ban but still very detrimental to public health.

Trump expected to announce limited vaping ban this week

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