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FDA plans to ban most flavored e-cigarettes

Health

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to ban all sweet and fruit flavored e-cigarette pods, which are popular with teens, later this week.

Tobacco and menthol flavored pods can remain on the market. Flavored liquid nicotine used in open tank systems can continue to be sold. The Trump administration is expected to make the announcement later this week.

“It does make more sense than a complete ban,” says Chip Anderson, who works at RVA Vapes and with the Virginia Smoke Free Association.

The latest plan is a step back from what was originally proposed. In September, President Trump announced a plan to bar the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes. The vaping industry fought hard against it.

“If you put a full flavor ban it would eliminate pretty much every vape shop in the country,” Anderson told 8News.

Despite the latest news, Anderson remains skeptical about what the government will announce. And while, he doesn’t believe a ban on pods will immediately hurt RVA Vapes’ bottom line, he does take issue with restricting an adult’s choice.

“It’s one thing to make sure it’s safe for everybody but it is a whole other thing to tell Americans what they can and can’t have,” Anderson said.

The move to ban fruit and dessert flavored pods is an effort to curb the surge in youth vaping and combat an outbreak of lung illnesses and deaths linked to e-cigarettes.

“I wish I never would have done it,” said 15-year-old Zane Martin.

The California teen ended up in a medically induced coma and with a list of ailments after vaping.

“When I tried to stand on my leg, felt like it was going to snap,” he explained.

Yet, Anderson believes there’s a lot misinformation about vaping. Even the CDC has linked most of the vaping cases to e-cigs containing THC, sold informally and not in retail shops. Ultimately, Anderson is not sure a ban on fruity flavors will do any good.

“It is going to force a lot of them either to the black market or back to cigarettes which kill over 480,000 people a year,” he said.

However, some health and child advocacy groups argue the ban does not go far enough. A survey by the Food and Drug Administration found more than 5 million minors reported using e-cigarettes last year.

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