Over the next few months, e-cigarette products may start disappearing from the market.
The Food and Drug Administration’s recent ban on most flavored vapes will eliminate vapes other than tobacco and menthol flavors starting next month. Then, in mid-May, any e-cigarette product that has not filed for premarket authorization by the FDA will be subject to enforcement.
After months of back-and-forth on the flavored vape ban, the FDA finally pulled the trigger. It’s an interesting development considering the idea fell out of favor with political leaders, including President Donald Trump.
The flavor ban was also considered finished when incoming FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn refused to commit to a ban or any action on e-cigarettes during his confirmation hearing before Congress.
Considering Hahn’s reluctance to commit in the hearing, it’s interesting that the flavor ban is one of the first major actions from the FDA under his tenure.
The FDA has not said what enforcement actions it will take against companies selling fruity- and mint-flavored vapes after Feb. 1, noting in its guidance that enforcement will be decided on “a case-by-case basis.”
However, the agency did say in an announcement that it will prioritize enforcement against companies that “fail to take adequate measures to prevent youth access” and products that are “targeted to youth or likely to promote use of ENDS by youth.”
The FDA also notes that the guidance is not an outright ban. It will accept premarket applications for manufacturers wishing to sell flavored vapes. If the manufacturer can prove that the product meets standards set by the law and other standards like its impact on public health and the effect on youth use of e-cigarettes, it will be approved.