The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced new policies impacting e-cigarettes and the use of flavors in tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars. This policy shift comes as the FDA continues to look at ways to limit youth access to e-cigarettes and tobacco products and addiction to nicotine.
The FDA has released a draft of new compliance policy that could drastically impact the e-cigarette product category in the U.S. The policy shift the FDA is proposing would move toward stricter enforcement of the availability of not just flavored e-cigarette products but flavored cigars as well. With support from Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar, the FDA is proposing an end to its current compliance policy as it applies to flavored electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products other than tobacco-, mint-, and menthol-flavored products. This policy shift announcement comes with a warning to all manufacturers of these products: you may be subject to FDA enforcement for selling certain flavored ENDS products without authorization.
In a press release, the FDA revealed that it will begin a television ad campaign aimed at children to stress the risks of e-cigarette use. This is a move meant to drive down the number of youth who are vaping and using e-cigarettes, which the FDA believes to be at an “epidemic” level. The FDA states that if the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey continues to show that youth are using these products at a high level, then it will yet again change course in terms of policy and enforcement. It goes on to issue a warning that has come up several times in the past few months in regards to youth e-cigarette use: “We’ll take all appropriate actions necessary to stop these rates from increasing.”