The FDA softens their blow, but will it matter?
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Last week, I reported on recent actions taken by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on vape and e-cigarette companies. However, despite a report released on November 8 outlining the FDA’s plans to ban certain vape and e-cigarette flavours—due to their appeal to minors—the FDA announced on November 15 that they will not be going through with that course of action.
Instead, the FDA will only be requiring that any flavour that is not primarily tobacco or mint be sold in an age-restricted area of the store. Furthermore, fruity or sweet flavours sold online by American retailers will be required to take further age verification measures (this probably means a two-step age verification process).
Essentially, the FDA is softballing and relying on the vape and e-cigarette companies themselves to reduce their youth appeal—instead of legally taking steps to restrict marketing towards underage teenagers and preteens.
This is a massive departure from their original plan.
This begs the question: How will this affect Canadian legislation regarding these products? Last week I pointed out that Canada has already banned flavoured tobacco in an attempt to combat its appeal to minors. I also pointed out that vape and e-cigarette products will probably soon face legal reform, due to their rise in popularity among young people.
It is no secret that Canada already has far stricter laws regarding products containing nicotine when compared with the US. So, is a Canadian ban on sweet vape and e-cigarette flavours off the table just because the FDA couldn’t pull the trigger? Absolutely not. Based on recent legal trends, I would say that the FDA’s inability to follow through in any really impactful way will expediate Parliament’s response to this issue.