What vape products are still allowed under the new e-cigarette policy?
The new federal policy on flavored e-cigarettes, which went into effect in February, is a far cry from the total ban on flavored e-cigarettes that the president proposed in September 2019 to stem the alarming rise of youth vaping. It limits flavors just for specific e-cigarette devices, creating as many loopholes as restrictions.
The new Food and Drug Administration policy only prohibits flavors, with an exemption for the popular flavor menthol, in e-cigarette products that use closed-system e-liquid cartridges. That means menthol flavors in all forms, including JUUL pods, and all flavored liquid nicotine like cotton candy and gummy bear used in disposables and refillable cartridges can remain on the market. Disposables like Puff Bars may become an increasingly popular e-cigarette because of its variety of flavors like O.M.G. (orange, mango, guava) and sour apple.
Several public health organizations, including Truth Initiative®, have criticized the new vaping policy for putting politics and industry profits ahead of the health of America’s youth. “This policy is a huge win for JUUL and other e-cigarette companies who have aggressively marketed highly addictive tobacco products to kids knowing full well the negative impact nicotine has on the developing brain,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative.
Evidence show flavors are a key driver of the youth e-cigarette epidemic. In fact, 97% of youth who vape use flavored products. Under the new policy, youth can still find sweet and candy-flavored e-cigarette liquids in all retail outlets selling tobacco until the FDA begins premarket review in May. Exempting menthol — a flavor that, with mint, 63.9% of high school e-cigarette users reported vaping in 2019 — will create an opportunity for e-cigarette manufacturers to rename mint products to menthol.
Truth Initiative continues to strongly urge the administration and the FDA to reconsider its policy and restrict access to all flavored e-cigarettes in all retail outlets until completing a pre-market review clearly required by law.