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FDA orders thousands of vaping products off the market putting the industry on edge

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -More than 6 million e-cigarettes and vaping products have been awaiting FDA approval to stay on the market. Earlier this month the FDA stopped 946,000 flavored tobacco products from being sold, arguing they target teenagers.

Central Iowa Vapors operates 11 stores in the state. President Corey Halfhill knows decisions the FDA makes impacts his business, but he says people trying to quit cigarettes are also hurt by restricting vaping.

”To remove all the products that these folks are relying on or have relied on as a nicotine replacement type product or therapies, and they’re lives have changed,” Halfhill explained.

The FDA argues 80% of teenagers who smoke e-cigarettes are using flavors. The Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes (PAVE) group believes flavored products specifically target young people.

”The flavors hook the kids. And what they’re hooking kids on, these flavored e-cigs, they contain enormous amounts of nicotine,” Meredith Berkman said, Co-Founder of PAVE.

Halfhill acknowledged there have been questionable advertising practices in the industry in the past targeting teens, but he told us some adults prefer flavors.

”What does the alcohol industry have? They’ve got a ton of different flavored alcohols and they’re not having to remove their products,” he pointed out.

Those who want vaping regulated more say the FDA hasn’t acted soon enough. No decision has been made on Juul, one of the most popular vaping brands.

“Our feeling is that FDA as a partner in protecting our kids in public health has failed us by allowing all of these products sit from 2016 until today,” Berkman said.

The FDA was supposed to decide on each application by September 9, but some are still up in the air.

Those in the industry are awaiting upcoming decisions by the FDA they hope will allow them to continue to sell a variety of product, a variety that’s already been significantly paired down.

”We know that there are products that have been, that have been approved. So it’s basically going to take I’ve heard anywhere from you know 97% to even 99% of the products off the market,” Halfhill told us.

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