Welcome to all my new friends and loyal fans of VapePenZone. Remember what we mentioned earlier about what PSA urges all pharmacists to do? Not only that but laws and regulations are now being enacted around the world to restrict the use of flavoured pods and e-liquid. If you don’t know this news, come with me today to review them and make adjustments for your e-cigarette purchases!
The U.S. Has Banned Flavoured Pods And E-liquid
Amid the epidemic levels of youth use of e-cigarettes and the popularity of certain products among children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a policy on January 2, 2020, prioritizing enforcement against certain unauthorized flavoured e-cigarette products that appeal to kids, including fruit and mint flavours. Under this policy, companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavoured cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions.
Beginning 30 days from the publication of the notice of the availability of this guidance in the Federal Register, the FDA intends to prioritize enforcement against these illegally marketed ENDS products by focusing on the following groups of products that do not have premarket authorization:
- Any flavoured, cartridge-based ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) product (other than a tobacco- or menthol-flavoured ENDS product);
- All other ENDS products for which the manufacturer has failed to take (or is failing to take) adequate measures to prevent minors’ access; and
- Any ENDS product that is targeted to minors or likely to promote the use of ENDS by minors.
Importantly, the FDA’s enforcement priorities are not a “ban” on flavoured or cartridge-based ENDS. The FDA has already accepted and begun a review of several premarket applications for flavoured ENDS products through the pathway that Congress established in the Tobacco Control Act.
Manufacturers that wish to market any ENDS product – including flavoured e-cigarettes or e-liquids – are required by law to submit an application to the FDA that demonstrates that the product meets the applicable standard in the law, such as whether the product is appropriate for the protection of the public health. If a company can demonstrate to the FDA that a specific product meets the applicable standard set forth by Congress, including considering how the marketing of the product may affect youth initiation and use, then the FDA could authorize that product for sale.
Canada Will Prohibit Most Vape Flavors Next Year
The Canadian government has initiated the process of banning most flavoured vaping products. The flavour ban will be implemented as regulation by Health Canada and will prohibit flavours other than tobacco, menthol and mint.
Health Canada will also finalize a rule, proposed last December, to cap the nicotine strength of e-liquid and DIY nicotine at 20 mg/mL (or two per cent). Despite opposition from vapers during the public comment period, the nicotine cap rule was completed in the promised six-month timeframe. It will be published on June 23 and take effect on July 8. Retailers will have until July 23 to clear existing stock.
The draft flavour regulations were published Saturday in the Canada Gazette, serving notice that they too will be adopted in six months (technically 180 days)—sometime in January 2022.
The agency is proposing not just a ban on flavour descriptors or “characterizing” flavours—as most flavour restrictions do—but setting out a list of allowable ingredients used to create tobacco, menthol and mint e-liquid flavourings. The agency will impose a complete prohibition of all other flavourings, including all sweeteners used in e-liquid. Health Canada estimates that 80-85 per cent of existing tobacco and menthol/mint e-liquids will have to be reformulated.
The rules will “prescribe sensory attributes standards to prevent a sensory perception other than one that is typical of tobacco or mint/menthol.” In other words, there will be no sneaking vanilla or caramel into the tobacco flavours, or berries into the menthol.
When Canada amended its Tobacco Act in 2018 to become the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, Parliament gave Health Canada the ability to create product standards, such as limiting nicotine content or available flavours. Health Canada has also mandated child-resistant refillable tanks and imposed advertising restrictions.
Why Should Flavours Be Banned?
When San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a 2018 ballot measure banning the sale of flavoured tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes and flavoured vape liquids — public health advocates celebrated. After all, tobacco use poses a significant threat to public health and health equity, and flavours are particularly attractive to youth.
But according to a new study from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), that law may have had the opposite effect. Analyses found that, after the ban’s implementation, high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled in San Francisco’s school district relative to trends in districts without the ban, even when adjusting for individual demographics and other tobacco policies.
To explain these results, Friedman noted that electronic nicotine delivery systems have been the most popular tobacco product among U.S. youth since at least 2014, with flavoured options largely preferred.
What Problems Can Be Caused By Banning Flavours?
Bans on flavoured e-cigarettes have been announced across the U.S.: Michigan announced a ban in early September; and New York passed an emergency ban on all flavoured e-cigarettes (except menthol and traditional tobacco flavours) immediately. Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have also proposed a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes. And internationally, India announced a total ban on all e-cigarettes. These bans are not ubiquitous – organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics have long called for bans on flavoured e-cigarette products. Items with sweet flavours are particularly appealing to teens and are thought to be responsible for the dramatic increase in e-cigarette and nicotine use among that age group. However, flavoured e-cigarettes are not considered to be a cause of breathing problems.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is also an opponent of this ban. in September 2020, Ron vetoed a bill. That bill would have banned precisely all flavoured e-cigarette products except tobacco and menthol.
In line with Julie’s views, Ron also believes that a one-size-fits-all ban on flavoured e-cigarettes would not only be ineffective in solving the problem but could even cause more trouble. In an open letter, Ron mentioned that banning flavoured e-cigarettes could lead more people to return to using traditional cigarettes. Those adults who need flavoured e-cigarettes may also continue to enter the dangerous black market trade when they cannot buy them through regular channels. This is what Ron does not want to see.
Therefore, the researchers pointed out: a complete ban on flavoured e-cigarettes is too arbitrary, and regulators should take into account that these policies may affect smokers who use e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking when developing policies to restrict or ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes.
In their view, youth use of e-cigarettes is a regulatory issue that should not come at the expense of adults. Because adult smokers are relying on these products for a better lifestyle and even to save their own lives.
Would You Agree If Australia And New Zealand Also Banned It? What Would You Do?
Speaking about this positive downward trend in smoking, Nancy Loucas, the co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA), said that if the Ministry of Health makes vaping regulations too stringent, fewer smokers in the future will move to the safer (and cheaper) alternatives.
It is for this reason, she added, that safer alternatives should be made available on a case-by-case basis, rather than restricting flavours. There are rumours of a flavour ban on e-cigarettes in New Zealand and Australia, banning flavours other than tobacco and menthol flavours. So what would you do if Australia and New Zealand banned flavour pods if these happened? Will you agree with that? Please leave a comment and let us know your advice or ideas in return.