FDA Action on Disposable E-Cigarettes is a Strong Step Forward and Underscores Need for Comprehensive Regulation of All Types of Flavored Vaping Products
Statement of Robin Koval, CEO and President, Truth Initiative
We applaud the FDA’s action against the makers of Puff Bar, the e-cigarette wildly popular among teens, along with nine additional disposables e-cigarette manufacturers to remove their flavored disposable e-cigarettes and youth-appealing e-liquid products from the market for not having the required pre-market authorization. Three firms received warning letters for illegally marketing disposable e-cigarettes: Puff Bar, HQD Tech USA LLC and Myle Vape Inc. Puff Bar and HQD Tech USA LLC were also cited for an additional violation for marketing their products as modified risk tobacco products without an FDA order in effect that permits such marketing. While a strong step in the right direction, these FDA warning letters are not a substitute for much needed comprehensive regulation that removes all types of flavored e-cigarettes and liquids, including mint and menthol, to protect our nation’s youth.
Given the current youth e-cigarette epidemic made even more urgent by the global pandemic impacting the lungs, the FDA must clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes, extend the current requirements to disposable flavored vaping products already on the market, and enforce the pre-market approval application provisions to keep these products from entering the market preemptively. Without that, the next iteration of Puff Bar or its similar successors is likely already being readied for market as the FDA awaits responses to these latest letters.
In addition to the court-mandated September 9, 2020 deadline for e-cigarette manufacturers to apply and demonstrate a public health benefit in order to keep their products on the market, the FDA must also require all manufacturers to include research on the potential impact on youth in every premarket and modified risk tobacco product application.
With youth tobacco use at its highest level in 20 years, driven by e-cigarettes with 97% of youth vapers using flavored products, the FDA has the power and authority in its hands to keep flavored e-cigarettes out of the hands of vulnerable teens being targeted aggressively by the growing number of disposable e-cigarette companies, and end the youth e-cigarette epidemic for good.