Dr. Ned Sharpless, the chairman of the Food and Drug Administration has said on Wednesday that the policies on vaping products and flavored e-cigarettes will be finalized over the next few weeks. He also said that the vaping crisis could have been avoided if they had acted earlier.
According to FDA policy, except for tobacco all other flavors will be taken off from the market and a premarket authorization would be required before they could be returned back to market. He said that FDA wants to enforce the existing law which limits marketing of such types of products. This does not mean that flavored e-cigarettes can never be marketed again. It means that if a company is able to show that their product meets the required standard that is set forth by the Congress, then they would get authorization from the FDA.
E-cigarettes are also known by the name ENDS which stands for electronic nicotine delivery systems. Consumption of these e-cigarettes is known by the term vaping and it is especially the youth who is attracted toward flavored products. There has been an increase in the vaping-related lung injuries in the US and it is being investigated by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC’s principal deputy director, Dr. Anne Schuchat said that it is expected that the vaping related illness which has been reported this week will be hundreds higher than what was reported in the previous week. The number of illness cases will be updated by CDC this Thursday. CDC said that as of the 17 of September, there have been 530 probable and confirmed cases of illnesses. Nine deaths have also been reported so far, two each in Kansas and California and one each in Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon and Missouri.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary, Dr. Lee Norman said that this was the start of an epidemic and that they supported the US government in their plans of removing flavored vaping products. A four month temporary ban has been imposed on all e-cigarettes in Massachusetts. New York and Michigan has also banned flavored e-cigarettes. As per Shield’s opinion, ban of flavors makes it harder for the people to quit and having tobacco flavor or menthol tobacco in markets will help in mimicking what people were doing so far and will make smokers to try for this alternative.