FDA vaping regulations are changing, and it could have an impact on how you vape. Vaping has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. There has been an outbreak of lung issues wrongly attributed to vaping that were actually caused by counterfeit THC cartridges. In addition, popular vape manufacturer Juul has been under intense scrutiny for their marketing practices as teen vaping continues to be an issue lawmakers and parents struggle to curb.
Predictable Regulatory Action
Luckily the FDA vaping regulations that were recently announced stopped short of the emergency policies put into place by some cities and states recently. This was welcome news as many industry insiders feared the introduction of policies that applied vastly more government overreach into users’ vaping habits. With the scrutiny involved and widespread demand for the FDA to take action, it was almost a certainty that there would be a regulatory shift.
The new FDA vaping policy announced 3-key areas of enforcement that go into effect February 1st, 2020:
- No electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) devices that use cartridges to store nicotine liquid to be aerosolized on use will be permitted except for tobacco and menthol flavors.
- No products where the manufacturer is not taking sufficient care to make sure their ENDS products don’t fall into the hands of minors will be permitted.
- No ENDS devices marketed to minors or likely to promote the use of the device to minors will be allowed.
On the surface, these seem pretty straight forward, but there are some concerns about the application of this new policy.
Problems With FDA Vaping Policy
Let’s take a look at these three key areas individually.
No electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) devices that use cartridges to store nicotine liquid to be aerosolized on use will be permitted except for tobacco or menthol flavors.
This is obviously targeted primarily at the popular Juul device, the use of which has become so ubiquitous that vaping has become known as Juuling. Widely available at stores across the country, this vape has become the symbol of the teen vaping epidemic, though more attention has been paid to their marketing practices than to the outlets and adults who are helping teens obtain them.
It targets all cartridge or pod-based systems. While it leaves adults the availability of tobacco and menthol-flavored cartridges, which are seen as less desirable to children, it robs adults who happen to like pink lemonade or cotton candy of a convenient smoking cessation aid.
No products where the manufacturer is not taking sufficient care to make sure their ENDS products don’t fall into the hands of minors will be permitted.
This is a more problematic FDA vaping priority that ignores the culpability of irresponsible retailers and complicit adults in the teen vaping crisis. While a manufacturer can do everything in their power to deliver a reliable, well-made product, once it’s out of their physical control, they have no way to ensure who it’s sold to. It also fails to establish what acceptable care entails, leaving it up to the discretion of the FDA.
No ENDS devices marketed to minors or likely to promote the use of the device to minors will be allowed.
Once again, this FDA vaping guideline is left intentionally vague. Juul and other manufacturers were accused of marketing to minors on as little evidence as offering fun flavors, so this fails to inspire confidence that manufacturers can proceed with any design, flavor, or marketing strategy with a surety that the FDA won’t intercede.
Still More Troubling…
The most worrisome part about the FDA’s vaping news release announcing the enforcement of these priorities is buried in the text before the bullet-pointed priority list.
“...all ENDS products currently on the market are considered illegally marketed and are subject to enforcement, at any time, in the FDA’s discretion.”
This is a bold declaration that threatens all vape products, whenever and wherever the FDA decides to act.
What You Can Do
Start by contacting your representatives and make sure they know that responsible adults enjoy vaping responsibly. We’re keeping a close eye on not only FDA vaping regulatory efforts but also state governments as they examine their own laws as it relates to vaping. Stay informed about your vaping rights with Elevated Vaping.