Following concerns over teenagers vaping in the US, the administration has suggested that it could be imposing a ban on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes.
In recent years, an increasing number of teenagers and young adults – mostly non-smokers – have started vaping. There have been accusations that companies like Juul are contributing to the epidemic by using marketing and flavours that target younger consumers.
In addition to this, in the last month, there have been investigations into cases of lung illnesses among some e-cigarette users. The majority of these cases were in young people, and so far there have been six deaths.
The CDC recently recommended that young adults, non-smokers, and pregnant women avoid e-cigarettes, especially while these investigations are ongoing.
It also recommends that consumers who are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking only buy from licensed shops, and avoid buying products off the street that may have been modified.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement on Wednesday that the administration is “making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities.”
He added: “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
“It’ll take several weeks for us to put out the final guidance that will announce all the parameters around the enforcement policy, and then there will likely be about a 30-day delay to effective date, as is customary. At that point all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market.”
A spokesperson for Juul said in an interview: “We strongly agree with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products. We will fully comply with the final FDA policy when effective.”