- A recently enacted law has put e-cigarette manufacturers that use synthetic nicotine under FDA regulation, closing a loophole which previously let these products evade scrutiny.
- The law doesn’t result in an outright ban of these products, rather it requires the companies to register with the FDA and submit their products for evaluation.
- Synthetic Nicotine, which is an addictive chemical element in smoking, vaping, and smokeless tobacco products, has increasingly been used due to advancements in manufacturing which made it cost-effective.
- Companies like Puff Bar, popular amongst teenagers, have been using synthetic nicotine in their products, claiming that their e-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco derivatives.
- Critics argue that the FDA’s efforts at regulation often trail behind the rapid innovation of the vaping companies, thereby allowing these products to continue reaching underage consumers.
A recently enacted law has enabled the regulation of e-cigarette manufacturing companies using synthetic nicotine in their products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products, frequently available in fruit flavors popular among youth, were previously operating out of the purview of FDA regulations.
FDA Oversight Strengthens
With the new law coming into effect, it seals a loophole that previously let these products escape scrutiny. These products are now required to comply with the same federal sales parameters and age limits as traditional tobacco products. The FDA, in a midweek declaration, expressed its satisfaction with the law.
The law declares, “FDA can protect public health from the risks caused by tobacco products, irrespective of the nicotine source.”
Regulation Programme Details
The e-cigarette companies producing such products have been asked to register with the FDA. Furthermore, they need to submit their products for evaluation within the next month.
The new change does not lead to an outright ban on these items but brings them under regulatory watch.
“These synthetic nicotine products will not vanish spontaneously,” said Robin Koval, CEO of the advocacy organization Truth Initiative. She further commented, “At this point, it is up to the FDA to decide on their enforcement approach.”
As per the reports, the FDA has turned down over a million vaping devices, recipes, and flavors, largely due to their allure to young people.
Understanding Synthetic Nicotine
Nicotine is the addictive chemical element in smoking, vaping, and smokeless tobacco products. Though naturally a component of tobacco plants, a chemically synthesized element has been prevalent for many years. It was considered costly to produce synthetically; however, recent advancements in manufacturing have made it more cost-effective.
Snapshot of a Vaping Company: Puff Bar
The vaping company Puff Bar started using synthetic nicotine in its products from last year. The company claims that their e-cigarettes “do not contain tobacco or any derivatives from tobacco.”
Puff Bar, which entered the market in 2019, quickly became the most preferred e-cigarette brand among teenagers, as confirmed by a federal survey. The company said in the past that due to FDA pressure, they had decided to cease sales and remove their disposable vaping devices from venues such as convenience stores.
Although the FDA in 2020 put a ban on fruit-flavored e-cigarette cartridges manufactured by companies like Juul, it did not extend this ban to flavors contained in disposable e-cigarettes.
FDA, a Step Behind?
Critics from anti-tobacco groups have voiced their concerns that the FDA is consistently lagging behind vaping companies, whose products are finding their way into the hands of teenagers.
The concluding remark from Koval was, “The lesson we can extract from this is that when FDA’s efforts fall short and happen retrospectively, which is the case with e-cigarettes, it’s just like playing a game of whack-a-mole and catch-up.”
Interested readers can learn more about e-cigarettes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE: The details mentioned have been collated from various reports.