Winter is... finally here.
If you’ve been paying attention over the past two years, you know that the FDA has dramatically changed the landscape of vaping -- see our posts on [8/8 “Freeze Period”] and [action taken against marketing flavors].
But yesterday, sh*t got real.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., issued a statement outlining new steps to restrict the sale of flavored Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and cigarettes, a measure aiming to prevent access to minors after reports of heightened teen vaping this year (ENDS include all Vape Juice, eLiquid, eJuice and nicotine products).
Here’s what’s on the chopping block -- and what that means for you:
Sale restrictions on ALL flavored ENDS products. Flavored e-juice (excluding tobacco, mint and menthol flavors) can only be sold in-person at locations with age restrictions, like vape/head shops or closed-off retail areas. Basically, no more convenience stores. You can also expect “robust age verification procedures” for products sold online.
A proposed ban of menthol in combustible tobacco products. This will only apply to cigarettes and cigars… for now. The FDA acknowledged that nixing menthol from ENDS may deter teens and adults from switching to vaping, a healthier alternative to cigarettes.
A proposed policy to ban flavors in cigars. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Here’s the deal: the FDA’s efforts are to “impact the ability of American kids to access tobacco products.” We get it, and agree that minors should not have access to ENDS or vaping.
That’s the law.
However, we don’t think banning flavors will accomplish that -- in the same way that banning flavored alcohol won’t stop people from drinking. And while a full flavor ban isn’t on the horizon yet, removing them from certain stores and shelves may be a sign of what’s to come...
So what's next?
The spotlight is now on the vaping industry to not just play by the FDA's rules, but to take extra steps to ensure ENDS don't get into the wrong hands.
Companies like JUUL and Liquid Barn are leading the way on this one. Prior to the FDA Announcement, JUUL chose to remove their flavored products from convenience stores and delete their social media accounts. On the other hand, we at Liquid Barn have been making strides to ensure that Tastemakers like you preserve the right to control your vaping experience, with a pre-8/8 product that the new ruling doesn’t affect: Unflavored eLiquid.
A uniquely flavorless product, Unflavored eLiquid checks all the boxes that the FDA is looking for: no flavors, no marketing gimmicks… just pure eJuice (available with or without nicotine). With flavors sold separately (including your favorite One Shots from our Tastemaker Collection) it’s the easiest way to get what you want and skip the hassle.
And while the flavor ban doesn’t necessarily affect us at Liquid Barn, we’re concerned with the impact this ruling will have on the vaping industry overall. Only time will tell how far the FDA will take this legislation. But if there is a full ban on flavored eLiquid, get ready to see a lot more people switching to DIY.
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