States are Cracking Down on Underage Sales of E-Cigarettes
Both state and federal health experts agree the popularity of vaping among teens has grown exponentially between 2014 – 2018. The New York Times states that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has deemed the use of electronic vaping cigarettes is currently at "epidemic proportions” across the country. More and more states across the country are putting pressure on the vaping and e-cigarette industry. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, the use of e-cigarettes has increased among high school students by 78 percent. Compared to traditional nicotine ladened cigarettes, vaping devices are more discrete and are relatively undetectable because of its water-based vapor. However, the dangerous component of this popular alternative are the juices and specialty flavorings used to create a more enhanced experience.
In fact, the FDA has begun to take aggressive enforcement strategies that target the illegal sales of e-cigarettes and paraphernalia youth marketing of kid-friendly products. As part of their commitment to address the teen vaping epidemic, the FDA issued letters to five of the top-selling national brands and are requesting they provide plans on how they will address the widespread access and illegal use of their products within 60 days. If they fail to do so, they risk being required to remove specialty flavored vaping products from the market until the required premarket authorization meets all required obligations established by law. This also applies to online sales which will required age verification enhancements to make purchases.
States like San Francisco are becoming the first U.S. city to implement a ban on the sales of electronic cigarettes in an effort to clamp down on youth vaping. In June 2019, the state of Maryland proposed an act that prohibits the distribution and sale of flavor enhanced tobacco products such as cigars and e-cigarettes to minors. Additionally, in an effort to address the role that vaping plays in the addiction to oral fixation and nicotine, Massachusetts is working on legislation that will protect youth from the ravages of nicotine addiction.