Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to ban all flavored e-cigarette pods except menthol and tobacco. According to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the announcement could come anytime this week.
The flavored pod ban would be a step back from the nearly complete flavored vape ban the Trump administration initially planned back in September. There are two notable changes: menthol flavoring would be allowed, in addition to tobacco; and the flavor ban would only be applied to pods — flavored nicotine liquids could still be sold for open tank systems. The ban is meant to reduce the rise in teenage vaping. Because open systems are seen as less popular among teens, the administration is focusing on pods that are believed to be driving teen usage.
During remarks last night, Trump said the vaping ban would be announced very shortly. He also said the flavor ban would not be permanent. Flavors would be removed “for a period of time,” checked for safety and could return to the market if they were deemed to be safe. Trump further said, “Hopefully if everything’s safe they’re gonna be going very quickly back onto the market. We have to protect our families. At the same time, it’s a big industry, we want to protect the industry.”
Initial reports about the FDA’s ban don’t mention safety checks or the potential to return to the market. Trump seems to be conflating multiple issues going on with vaping right now, so it’s not entirely clear what the agency will announce. Trump appears to be referencing the vaping lung injuries that have now killed more than 50 people, but this ban isn’t meant to address that issue.