As examined in this Healio Primary Care article, the FDA’s recently announced ban on the sale of most cartridge-based e-cigarette flavors does not include two of the most popular flavors, tobacco and menthol. HHS Secretary Alex Azar says that companies which do not stop the manufacture, distribution and sales of unauthorized flavored products, can face FDA action. While Secretary Azar and FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD believe that this policy will protect kids, experts in the field of public health are skeptical.
Cristine Delnevo, PhD, MPH, director of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies, says
“The extent to which FDA’s enforcement action aimed at flavored pod-based e-cigarettes will help curb or reverse the increased in e-cigarette use among young people is dependent on the strength and swiftness of FDA’s action,” she told Healio Primary Care. “It will be important to monitor whether young people will simply switch to tobacco and/or menthol flavored pods. A notable percentage of young people who [use e-cigarettes] are addicted — most of them will likely simply switch. Whether or not e-cigarette-naive youth will initiate with nonflavored pod-based e-cigarettes warrants careful attention.”