FDA will ban many flavored e-cigarettes
It's all part of the FDA's efforts to reduce teens' use of flavored e-cigarettes, long thought to be especially alluring to young people who then become hooked on nicotine.
A senior FDA official said details of the ban would be announced next week, and that menthol and mint flavors would be exempt, The New York Times reported. The agency will also mandate age-verification measures for online sales to prevent minors from buying the flavor pods.
"I think that there's a perception that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative for kids," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a recent interview with the Times. "But it can lead to a lifelong addiction, and some percentage will migrate to combustible products."
So, "in order to close the on-ramp to e-cigarettes for kids, we have to put in place some speed bumps for adults," Gottlieb said, referring to efforts such as the proposed ban.
The FDA first began its crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes earlier this year, as the number of teens using the products reached epidemic proportions, the Times reported. By far, the leading vaping product is made by Juul, whose e-cigarette devices resemble small computer flash drives. Use of Juul has skyrocketed among teens over the past year, and the company's products now command 70 percent of the market.
Flavored versions of e-cigarettes—including chicken and waffles, rocket Popsicle and "unicorn milk"—have boosted sales among the young even further, experts contend. ■