FDA Bans Some Flavored Vaping Products

The Trump administration tries to balance its fight against youth vaping with the president's support of the industry.
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The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it will ban the use of fruit and mint-flavored vaping products as it seeks to crack down on youth smoking of e-cigarettes.

The new regulation threatens companies that don’t stop selling fruit and mint flavored e-cartridges in 30 days with regulatory action.

The rule doesn’t apply to tobacco and menthol cartridge e-cigarettes, and it doesn’t apply to tank-based products, which are generally sold or used in vaping shops.

The Trump administration seems to be trying to balance an effort to keep youths away from vaping with the president’s stated goal to protect the industry and small-business owners who are in it.

“The enforcement policy we’re issuing today confirms our commitment to dramatically limit children’s access to certain flavored e-cigarette products we know are so appealing to them - so-called cartridge-based products that are both easy to use and easily concealable,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

“We believe this policy balances the urgency with which we must address the public health threat of youth use of e-cigarette products with the potential role that e-cigarettes may play in helping adult smokers transition completely away from combustible tobacco to a potentially less risky form of nicotine delivery,” Hahn added.

The FDA was spurred to act by increasing e-cigarette usage among teenagers and by a lung illness connected to vaping that has killed 55 people throughout the country. More than 5 million middle- and high-school students smoke e-cigarettes, according to U.S. survey data.

The ruling won’t affect industry leader Juul much, as it already has ceased selling flavors in the U.S., except menthol and tobacco. Altria Group  (MO) - Get Report owns 35% of Juul.