FDA Institutes Partial Vaping Ban

Trump administration announces change to address teen vaping epidemic.


Courtesy of Google Creative Commons

A Center of Disease Control study finds 1 in 4 teens vape. New measure will ban flavors that appear to attract teens to vape. Courtesy of Google Creative Commons

Yoonsoo (Seth) Choi, Staff Writer

The Federal Drug Administration will temporarily ban all flavored vaping products except menthol, tobacco and flavored liquid nicotine in tank systems to help curb the teen vaping epidemic beginning Feb. 1. 

“By prioritizing enforcement against the products that are most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth,” Alex M. Azar II,  Health and Human Services Secretary said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Truth Initiative and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids have criticized the move citing that teens will simply switch from mint, dessert and fruit flavor to tobacco and menthol which are widely used by adults.

“A major missed opportunity that will still leave young people at risk for addiction,” Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. 

E-cigarette manufacturers have a May 12 deadline to submit applications for vaping products for review by the FDA. Last month, President Donald Trump raised the minimum age to buy vaping products from 18 to 21. 

“We have to protect our families,” Trump said. “At the same time, it’s a big industry. We want to protect the industry. Hopefully, if everything is safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market.” 

Trump backed off a proposal to ban all vaping products in September after Vapor Technology Association ran TV ads, commissioned polls and launched the “We Vape We Vote” social media campaign.

“It’s disturbing to see the results of industry lobbying undermine public health protections, especially the lives and health of our youth,” Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association President and CEO, said. 

Recent national surveys indicate at least 1 million teenagers are daily e-cigarette users physically dependent on nicotine with the majority using flavored vaping products.

“Everywhere we look someone is vaping in the bathroom,” Police Officer Garcia said. “It’s getting out of control. The ones who want to vape are still going to do it illegally.”