FDA Cracks Down on Flavored E-Cigarettes

November 15, 2018
Updated 2mo ago

Chloe Aiello

The Food and Drug Administration confirmed reports Thursday it would seek to impose new restrictions on most flavors of e-cigarettes in a move to combat an "epidemic" number of teen vapers.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the news in a statement on Thursday, in which he references his work as a doctor and his personal history with cancer among other reasons that reducing the number of young smokers is so important to him.

Mint, menthol, and tobacco flavors are notably absent from the new restrictions, which rather than imposing a blanket ban, require that all flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems, or e-cigs, are sold in "age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification." That means pods will no longer be sold in convenience stores, or anywhere that permits teens easy access.

In the statement, Gottlieb also proposed bans on flavored cigars and menthol in combustible tobacco products, which includes both cigars and cigarettes.

Following reports the FDA was considering a comprehensive crackdown on flavored nicotine and methol products, including mint and menthol, Juul preemptively halted sales of its mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber-flavored pods at more than 90,000 retail stores and tightened age restrictions on online sales. It also said it would shut down its social media accounts to avoid inadvertently advertising to teens.

Juul, which claims more than 70 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market share, has been under intense scrutiny by the FDA and anti-smoking groups, which allege it has contributed to a spike in teen vaping.