The latest from a statement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on proposed new steps to protect youth by preventing access to flavored tobacco products and banning menthol in cigarettes.
One of the first things the FDA is looking to ban is to have all flavored ENDS products (other than tobacco, mint and menthol flavors or non-flavored products) sold in age-restricted, in-person locations. All ENDS products, including e-liquids, cartridge-based systems and cigalikes, in flavors except tobacco, mint and menthol, would be included. For instance, the proposed policy would apply to flavors such as cherry, vanilla, crème, tropical, melon and others. So this means any products sold in convenient stores, that permit underage individuals to enter, would not be permitted.
Additionally, the FDA is revisiting the compliance policy on PMTA authorization for such flavored products sold in physical locations where people under the age of 18 are permitted. This could be a detrimental action to vapor products as the process is excessively expensive and many believe with the current laws vapor products won’t be able to pass the high litmus test a PMTA application requires.
Furthermore, the FDA is continuing to look at how they believe ENDS products are marketed towards children. The FDA will pursue the removal from the market of those ENDS products that are marketed to children and/or appealing to youth. This could include using popular children’s cartoon or animated characters, or names of products favored by kids like brands of candy or soda.
Another area that’ll be targeted is those flavored ENDS products (other than tobacco, mint and menthol flavors or non-flavored products) that are sold online. The FDA will seek to curtail the sale of applicable flavored ENDS products that are sold online without heightened age verification processes. The FDA will be working to identify these heightened measures for age verification and other restrictions to prevent youth access via online sales. These best practices would be available soon, so sites can quickly adopt them. Because no tobacco products should be sold to kids (including non-flavored ENDS products or those with tobacco, mint and menthol flavors), the FDA will continue to enforce the law whenever we see online sales of these products to minors and will closely monitor online sales of mint and menthol ENDS products.
So although the measures are broad in what the FDA will continue to enforce we hope for a balanced approach as they continue to regulate the market. We fully support at Cali Steam a fair set of regulations that continue to allow customers to have choices of nicotine containing products.