After raising the age restriction on vaping and other tobacco products to 21, the Food and Drug Administration is reportedly readying to ban all pod-based e-cigarette flavours except menthol and tobacco.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the agency’s plans for the prohibition on fruity pods could be announced as soon as Friday. According to the paper, the ban will include mint cartridges for e-cigarettes, but the Journal said the ban will not extend to fruity or other flavours for tank vaping systems.
Speaking about his administration’s plan to address skyrocketing use of vaping products by youth as well as recent health concerns related to the products, President Donald Trump on Tuesday seemed to insinuate that the flavour bans would be temporary.
“As you know, we’ll be taking it off—the flavours—for a period of time, certain flavours,” Trump told reporters. “We’re going to protect our families, we’re going to protect our children, and we’re going to protect the industry. Hopefully, if everything’s safe, they’re going to be going very quickly back onto the market.”
Trump added that he thinks the barred flavours that are expected to be pulled from the market will be permitted to return following an “exhaustive examination.”
The ban on fruity flavours would arrive as health regulators grapple with addressing a worrisome spike in youth use of vape products. The FDA announced last week that an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 was official. In anticipation of such a flavour ban, Juul—the most popular product used among kids and teens due to its discreet USB-style design as well as its previously available fruity flavours—yanked all of its non-menthol and non-tobacco flavours from sale earlier this year.
“Vaping can be good from the standpoint—if you look at the e-cigarettes—you stop smoking,” Trump said Tuesday. “If you can stop smoking, that’s a big advantage. We think we’re going to get it back on the market very, very quickly. But we have to protect the children. We have to protect the families.”