A nationwide ban on certain e-cigarette flavors has been announced in the United States amid concerns about vapors among teenagers.
The FDA’s ban applies to mint, candy and fruit flavors that are available in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, such as the popular pods sold by Juul.
However, the United States will continue to allow menthol and tobacco flavors, as well as fruit flavors supplied in other ways.
The action has been under review for more than a year, with several countries adopting similar rules.
Brazil, India and South Korea are among dozens of countries that have announced large-scale vaping bans. Others, such as China, have announced restrictions.
Health and Humanitarian Services Secretary Alex Hazard said the Trump administration wants to continue to offer adults an alternative to traditional cigarettes, while addressing concerns about growing dependence on a new product among teens.
He said: “By prioritizing performance over the products most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right balance in public health.”
According to health regulators, 55 people have died and more than 2,500 people have been hospitalized with vaping-related injuries.
Researchers say they believe vitamin E acetate, which is sometimes added to marijuana products, plays a role.
Do companies need to provide separate smoking areas for vaping? The United Kingdom is launching an investigation into the safety of vaping
Citing the crisis, President Donald Trump said in September that the United States would ban all flavors of e-cigarettes except tobacco, but the administration loosened its stance after withdrawing from the industry.
This week, President Trump said: “We have to protect our families. At the same time, it is a large industry. We want to protect the industry. “
Juul, the largest e-cigarette company in the United States, has already withdrawn its flavored pods from the market, but the action, taken on January 2, forced competitors to make a similar move within 30 days.
Proponents of stricter rules have said teens will switch to menthol if other options are removed.
However, officials said they would take action against e-cigarettes flavored with menthol and tobacco if the FDA saw that their use among teenagers was increasing.
The age for buying tobacco products has recently been raised to 21. Electronic cigarettes are also governed by these rules.