The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed to curb sales of flavoured e-cigarettes to teenagers.
The health regulator on Wednesday said that it is proposing to end all flavoured electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products such as electronic cigarettes, except tobacco, mint and menthol-flavoured products.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 3.6 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes last year.
“Evidence shows that youth are especially attracted to flavoured e-cigarette products, and that minors are able to access these products from both brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as online, despite federal restrictions on sales to anyone under 18,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement.
“With these concerns in mind, today, we’re advancing our policies aimed at preventing youth access to, and appeal of, flavoured e-cigarettes and cigars.”
The new proposed policy also subjects all manufacturers and retailers to FDA enforcement for selling certain flavoured ENDS products without authorisation.
The FDA had previously threatened to ban most flavoured e-cigarettes in 2017 but did not take any enforcement moves.
However, with the new policy, FDA intends to prioritise its enforcement to focus on protecting youth from becoming addicted to nicotine.
It believes, at the same time, “that ENDS products still hold promise to help transition currently addicted adult smokers to potentially less harmful sources of nicotine”, Gottlieb said.
The health regulator also proposed pre-market applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by August 8, 2021.