The devices grew in popularity in 2019. In some countries this rise in fame has been linked to marketing on social media platforms such as TikTok or Instagram, which use influencers to promote the products. The devices had so far done well as they contain synthetic nicotine.
However, last December New Jersey Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill introduced the Clarifying Authority Over Nicotine Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill that grants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate synthetic nicotine products, in the same way it regulates nicotine products made or derived from tobacco. Congress passed the bill on March 11th, which means that the future of synthetic nicotine is uncertain.
In fact, following a lawsuit against Juul Labs which resulted in a $40 million settlement, North Carolina’s Attorney General John Stein, has also now turned his attention towards Puff Bar.
Stein said he is concerned that the “hip” descriptions of Puff Bar flavours make them appealing to kids. “We are actively investigating Puff Bar and other companies at all stages of the distribution chain, from manufacturers to retailers and everything in between to ensure they are not profiting off kids,” he said. “Where I find illegal behavior, I will not hesitate to take legal action.”
Similar concerns across the globe
Recent media headlines have reported that Australia is similarly growing concerned about the increased use of the Puff Bar disposables. Meanwhile, in line with previous studies and arguments by public health experts, a recent article published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that if vaping products had never come to exist, those teens who currently use the products, would be smoking instead.