- Title: Trump administration restricts some e-cigarette flavors
- Date: 2nd January 2020
- Summary: JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 12, 2019) (REUTERS) MANAGER OF iVAPE, KEVIN (CHIEF) SUAZO, VAPING LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS) MAN VAPING HUMBLE, TEXAS, UNITED STATES (FILE - SEPTEMBER 12, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, PEOPLE VAPING INSIDE OF ROCK N ROLL IT SMOKE SHOP AND VAPE SHOP NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VAPING PRODUCTS ON COUNTER SIGN READING (English): "JUUL SOLD HERE"
- Embargoed: 16th January 2020 22:21
- Keywords: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar e-cigarettes menthol mint vaping vaping ban
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C. / LOS ANGELES + MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA / NEW YORK, NEW YORK / JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY / HUMBLE, TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C. / LOS ANGELES + MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA / NEW YORK, NEW YORK / JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY / HUMBLE, TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003BUHD5XJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Trump administration on Thursday (January 2) announced a ban on some popular e-cigarette flavors, including fruit and mint, to curb rising teenage use of vaping products, allowing only menthol and tobacco flavors to remain on the market.
The flavor ban applies to cartridge-based e-cigarettes, which typically use disposable pods filled with liquid nicotine and are often sold in convenience stores. It does not apply to most e-cigarette liquids that are purchased separately, a variety most often sold in vape shops and used in so-called open tank e-cigarettes.
The ban came under immediate criticism from public health advocates who said it does not go far enough.
But Alex Azar, the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, called the approach a "smart, targeted policy that protects our kids without creating unnecessary disruption."
President Donald Trump's administration in September proposed a sweeping ban on all e-cigarette and vaping flavors that are seen as attracting millions of young users to addictive nicotine products. That plan would have prohibited all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco. However, Trump later expressed concerns that enacting the ban could lead to an underground market for illegal vaping products and potential job losses.
U.S. e-cigarette market leader Juul Labs Inc, which is 35%-owned by Marlboro-maker Altria Group Inc, over the last year has pulled fruit, dessert and mint nicotine flavors from retail stores and its website in the United States amid heightened scrutiny of the surge in teenage use.
Thursday's announcement would have no impact on Juul, which has already pulled flavors except tobacco and menthol. It would force competitors still offering a wider variety of flavors, including Njoy and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, which makes Vuse e-cigarettes, to restrict their offerings.
The percentage of high schoolers using e-cigarettes stands at 27.5%, according to federal surveys, up from 20.8% in 2018.
Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mint was by far the most popular flavor among U.S. 10th- and 12th-grade Juul users, with more than 40% saying it was the most frequently used variety of nicotine pod.
In banning mint but not menthol, HHS Secretary Azar said the administration was following an "evidence-based, science-based public health approach." Data that became available after the Trump administration's September announcement showed that mint was highly popular among teens but menthol was not, he said.
But public health advocates expect that teenagers will simply switch to menthol.
The new policy will go into effect in early February, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will begin enforcing it against e-cigarette makers that continue to sell unauthorized flavors. All e-cigarette makers face a May deadline to apply to the FDA for permission to continue selling their products.
(Production: Vanessa Johnston)
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