WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA is looking into putting an end on the sale of menthol cigarettes.
- The report from the Journal came following the agency’s announcement of the ban on flavored vape products.
- The ban was reportedly to put a stop to teen vaping that has become increasingly widespread.
A week after the Food and Drug Administration announced a ban on the sale of flavored vape products, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that agency officials are proposing a crackdown on menthol cigarettes.
According to the report, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb may possibly initiate a ban on menthols, although the process may take a year or two to finalize with an additional one for enforcement.
A separate report from the New York Times cited that Gottlieb mentioned last month that a ban on menthols is imminent. It also noted that to enact the ban, it would take several years for the FDA to navigate the regulatory processes. Both newspapers reported that major tobacco companies declined requests for comment.
In a separate report this week by the Washington Post, the FDA was planning to impose a stop on the sale of flavored pods in “thousands of convenience stores and gas stations across the country,” starting this week. Reportedly, the ban came as a result of teen vaping becoming so rampant. While the ban won’t affect the sale of menthol pods, the agency doesn’t intend to unwittingly encourage the purchase of traditional menthol cigarettes.
Juul Labs, a preferred brand among teens and the largest maker of e-cigarettes was reportedly planning to put a stop on the sale of most of its flavored e-cigarettes in stores, but will continue selling it instead online.
In a statement by email to Gizmodo, American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley said “there is a room for better enforcement” to help prevent teens from vaping.
But he also denounced the potential impact of the ban on adult smokers saying the FDA’s move will make it harder for them to switch to a far less harmful option. He added that the lack of vape shops would mean it would be easier for smokers to buy a pack of cigarettes at convenience stores than shifting to a vaping product that would help them break the habit of smoking.