The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations on tobacco originally included language that would have removed flavored e-cigarettes from the market until the agency authorized them, according to Reuters. The final rule deleted that wording.
The FDA announced in May it is extending its oversight to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. The agency will ban sales of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco to people under age 18.
Companies will be required to submit all tobacco products to the FDA for regulatory review. They will have to provide the agency with a list of product ingredients and place health warnings on their product packages and in ads.
The new rule, which goes into effect in 90 days, will not allow e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco or cigars to be sold to anyone under the age of 18 years (both in person and online); require age verification by photo ID; prohibit the selling of covered tobacco products in vending machines (unless in an adult-only facility); and prohibit the distribution of free samples.
The final rule allows manufacturers a grace period of up to two years to submit marketing applications. During that time, they can continue to sell their products. They can also sell them for another year while the FDA reviews the applications.
The original rule allowed for a grace period for flavored products of only 90 days after the rules took effect, the article notes. In the rule, the FDA said many flavored products would come off the market within 180 days of the regulation’s publication, “and that this will significantly impact the availability of flavored tobacco products at least in the short term.”
“We are deeply troubled that these important safeguards were stripped in this way when FDA repeatedly demonstrated that the science shows flavored products appeal to youth and young adults,” said Harold Wimmer, President of the American Lung Association.