2019 Press Releases

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FDA Makes Progress, but Needs to Go Further on E-cigarettes

(Jan. 3, 2020) – While the American Thoracic Society appreciates that the FDA took action on certain flavored cartridge-based vaping products, it is disappointed that the Administration chose to not follow through on its September 2019 promise to clear the market of all flavored electronic nicotine delivery projects. 

The fact that youth e-cigarette use grew by nearly 40 percent in one year should make preventing children from being able to access all vaping products an immediate priority.   We continue to urge Congress to pass legislation that bans all e-cigarette flavors, including menthol for all e-cigarette products and not just pod cartridges. 

“It is amazing how in a few short weeks, the FDA went from ‘clearing the market of all flavored products’ to effectively clearing the market for Juul’s menthol e-cigarettes and flavored e-liquids for ‘tank’ vaping systems,” says ATS Tobacco Action Committee Chair Michelle Eakin, PhD.

This policy will also allow flavorings to continue to be on the market for non-pod devices which will result in thousands of kid-friendly e-liquids to continue to be available. While there is substantial evidence that e-cigarette flavorings are linked to higher rates of initiation and transition to daily use, there is no credible evidence demonstrating flavorings help adults quit tobacco product use.

Overall, this policy will not stop the youth e-cigarette epidemic. “I will leave it to others to speculate why the FDA has so quickly changed its mind,” said Dr. Eakin.  “Regardless, leaving menthol e-cigs on the market is good for the vaping industry and bad for kids.”