The FDA has officially finalized a policy to ban the sale of e-cigarette flavors excluding menthol and tobacco.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained in a recent statement on the FDA’s website that the decision aims to combat the “crisis among America’s youth.”
“By prioritizing enforcement against the products that are most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth. We will not stand idly by as this crisis among America’s youth grows and evolves, and we will continue monitoring the situation and take further actions as necessary,” Azar said.
The statement also cites a 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) that concluded that more than 5 million U.S. middle and high school students are current e-cigarette users. The study clarified “current” means having used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days. It also concluded that approximately 1.6 million were using the product frequently. This referred to kids using an e-cigarette for at least 20 out of every 30 days.
This news comes just weeks after the United States moved to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old.