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FDA nears deadline to decide the fate of vapes

Caroline Champlin Sep 8, 2021
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Vaping and e-cigarette products are displayed in a store on Dec. 19, 2019 in New York City. The FDA is closing in on making possible vaping restrictions. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

FDA nears deadline to decide the fate of vapes

Caroline Champlin Sep 8, 2021
Heard on:
Vaping and e-cigarette products are displayed in a store on Dec. 19, 2019 in New York City. The FDA is closing in on making possible vaping restrictions. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
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The Food and Drug Administration is currently weighing the fate of e-cigarette products. On Thursday, the regulating body faces a deadline to decide which vapes are safe to be on the market – and which may need to be removed.

When UC San Diego professor Laura Crotty Alexander started researching vaping nearly a decade ago, products were hardly regulated, and many vape makers were small businesses.

“One thing to understand is that the majority of e-cigarettes are now made and sold by Big Tobacco,” Crotty said.

That includes Vuse, owned by Reynolds American, and Juul, partially owned by Altria. Both are being scrutinized by the FDA. 

Physician and Stanford professor Robert Jackler researches tobacco advertising. He said the FDA could restructure that landscape.

“The FDA could ban all use of social media on the part of all types of nicotine products that aren’t therapeutic to help smokers,” he said.

Another possibility – the FDA could limit nicotine concentration in vapes.

“In the United States, there’s no limit. The only practical limit is when the nicotine gets too bitter,” Jackler said.

Successful applications from e-cigarette makers will need to prove their product protects public health.

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