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Consumer Safety

US FDA targets flavored e-cigarettes

Agency rejects marketing applications for products with flavors that appeal to kids

by Britt E. Erickson
September 2, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 32

Person exhaling vapor from an e-cigarette.
Credit: Shutterstock
The US Food and Drug Administration has denied marketing applications for more than 55,000 e-cigarette products because they contain flavors that appeal to kids.

The US Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on flavored e-cigarettes, which it says appeal to young people. The agency rejected marketing applications Aug. 26 for about 55,000 e-cigarette products made by three companies. The firms must now remove those products from the market or risk FDA penalties.

To gain marketing approval, companies must show that the benefits of e-cigarette products to adults who are trying to stop smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes outweigh the health threats of youth using such products. The rejected applications failed to do so, the FDA says. The e-cigarette products in question include flavors such as cinnamon-toast cereal and apple crumble.

“Assessing the impact of potential or actual youth use is a critical factor in our decision-making about which products may be marketed,” FDA acting commissioner Janet Woodcock says in a statement.

More decisions on flavored e-cigarettes are forthcoming, the FDA says. The agency received marketing applications for over 6.5 million such products from more than 500 companies. Firms already marketing e-cigarettes were required to submit the applications to the FDA by Sept. 9, 2020, under a court-ordered deadline. Future products must receive FDA approval before they are put on the market.


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