Fruit- and dessert-flavoured vaping products will be prohibited as the U.S. government tries to curb youth vaping and lung injuries linked to e-cigarettes. Menthol- and tobacco-flavoured products will still be permitted; so will open-tank vaping systems, which let users mix their own vaping liquids. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers will have to comply with the new rules within 30 days or face fines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Reuters, The New York Times)
Talking point: The president said in September 2019 that he planned to ban sweet-flavoured products, which tend to appeal most to kids and non-smokers, but walked back the proposed restrictions after advisers and lobbyists said it would hurt his popularity among voters. Evidence has been mounting since that e-cigarettes are harmful and attractive to young people who might otherwise refrain from smoking. Several jurisdictions—including Canada’s Nova Scotia, B.C. and Ontario—have introduced their own laws to address the problems linked to vaping. The new U.S.-wide FDA rules are the most sweeping regulations yet in the country. Health professionals in Canada have pressured the federal government to take similarly broad steps; Health Canada proposed banning vaping ads in December, but hasn’t gone so far as to restrict products.