Banning Flavored Nicotine Might Entice Teens Even More

November 12, 2018

By Chloe Aiello

The Food and Drug Administration plans to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes that might appeal to teens, according to a Washington Post report. But some worry a ban will only further entice young users.

"Some people say it will just make it more attractive. That's one of the problems ー the more you restrict it, the more enticing it can be," USA Today health care policy reporter Jayne O'Donnell told Cheddar on Monday.

Electronic cigarette company Juul Labs, which spun off from marijuana vape company Pax Labs in 2017, makes e-cigarettes originally intended to appeal to adult smokers. But the brand's sleek design, sexy marketing, and fun flavors ー like cucumber and mango ー has made it wildly popular with a different demographic. The rise in young vapers hasn't gone unnoticed by Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who has threatened to crack down on Juul and other vape companies by removing flavored products from the market and requiring other products to undergo review.

"It's what the FDA deems is necessary to curb teen use," O'Donnell said.

"Hopefully, at least from the perspective of people who are public health advocates, it will make it hard enough that it will keep kids from starting," she added.

Now, it seems, the commissioner has made up his mind on the matter. And although he is expected to make the announcement this week, O'Donnell says they might not have much luck enforcing it right away.

"It'll be interesting because the convenience store industry ... is already making noise about filing suit as soon as the FDA makes its announcement ー that could drag this out for quite a while," she said.

Juul did not immediately respond to Cheddar's request for comment.

For full interview click here.