In response to questioning which took place during a House subcommittee hearing last week, Sharpless said that he believes that the agency will catch up. “We should have begun regulating these devices sooner,” he said. “But we’re going to catch up.”

Flavour restrictions

“This policy would not mean that flavored e-cigarettes could never be marketed. If a company can show through an application to FDA that a specific product meets the standard set forth by Congress, then the FDA would authorize that ENDS product for sale.”

The FDA compliance policy would require all flavoured products other than tobacco to be taken off the market and undergo a pre market authorization process before being allowed back for sale. “This policy would prioritize FDA’s enforcement of premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco flavors,” said Sharpless in his testimony.

“FDA intends to enforce existing law that limits the marketing of such products,” he said. “This policy would not mean that flavored e-cigarettes could never be marketed. If a company can show through an application to FDA that a specific product meets the standard set forth by Congress, then the FDA would authorize that ENDS product for sale.”

Considering a nationwide flavour ban

“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities.”

Earlier this month, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and acting Food and Drug Administration commissioner Ned Sharpless, met with Trump to discuss possible e-cig restrictions. This action came in response to the alleged current teen vaping “epidemic” and the recent outbreak of vape-related lung disease.

One of the restrictions being proposed is a nationwide ban on flavoured vaping products with Trump confirming this, during an oval office meeting at the White House. “The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” said Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth,” he added.

Flavours help smokers switch

Meanwhile, several studies have indicated that flavours are essential in encouraging smokers to make the switch from cigarettes to the safer alternatives, therefore a total flavour ban would be counterproductive to public health.

To this effect, a petition has been launched urging Trump to reconsider the flavour ban. “Vaping has saved millions of people lives with flavors being one of the major reasons due to their sweet flavors. We the people know that legal vape products that have been regulated are 95% safer than traditional cigarettes. Bans and prohibition has never worked, whether it is with cannabis or alcohol or drugs.”

Read Further: CNN

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