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FDA Announces New Restrictions on Sales of Flavored E-Cigarette Products at C Stores


Last week, FDA announced that it would be placing restrictions on flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb unveiled a set of changes aimed at forcing the e-cigarette industry to better keep its products out of the hands of teens, including a proposal that would mandate (via compliance guidelines) that the majority of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) only be sold in age-restricted facilities, including stand-alone tobacco retailers and vape shops, or facilities that have a section of the location that prevents the entry of persons under the age of 18. FDA did not make proposed changes to unflavored or regular tobacco, or to menthol and mint flavored e-vapor products, so stores can continue to sell those products in the same locations.

FDA announced that it is also considering a rulemaking banning traditional menthol-flavored cigarettes, a move that would be fiercely opposed by the tobacco industry and would likely take the issue to court. In addition to banning traditional menthol cigarettes, the FDA is looking to ban flavored cigars because FDA believes that flavors in cigars appeal to the youth.

These policy changes will take time to fully implement, but Commissioner Gottlieb hopes that retailers and vaping companies will pick up the pace themselves. Earlier this week, Juul, one of the leading producers of e-cigarette products, announced that it would no longer produce their popular fruit-flavored e-cigarette pods, such as cucumber, mango and fruit medley. In a statement, Gottlieb said, “We hope that within the next 90 days, manufacturers will choose to remove flavored ENDS products from stores where kids can access them and from online sites that do not have sufficiently robust age-verification procedures.”

PMAA will keep its members updated as more details become available. 

Federal retail

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