Startling statistics about vaping have prompted new federal action by the US Food and Drug Administration. Vaping increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since last year. On November 15, 2018, the FDA proposed new measures against flavored nicotine products.
The changes are meant to protect youth by requiring that all flavored electronic nicotine delivery products (ENDS) be sold in age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification.
The regulations won’t include tobacco, mint and menthol flavors or non-flavored products, because these tend not to appeal as much to youth. Also, the changes to internet sales will not affect Maine, where people are already prohibited from selling these products online, including through platforms such as eBay and Craigslist.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., proposed
additional bans on regular menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, which won't take effect right away. Regarding menthol cigarettes, Gottlieb said: “More than half (54 percent) of youth smokers ages 12-17 use menthol cigarettes, compared to less than one-third of smokers ages 35 and older. Prevalence of menthol use is even higher among African-American youth, with data showing that seven out of 10 African-American youth smokers select menthol cigarettes.”
To read the full Commissioner statement,