FDA To Ban Most Flavored E-Cigs

Ban is not expected to impact mint flavors but will include other flavored e-cigs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to ban sales of flavored e-cigs, and could begin as soon as next week, according to CBS News.

FDA is targeting electronic cigarettes because the agency claims they are addictive and popular with under-aged smokers.The expected ban would reportedly not impact mint flavors because menthol cigarettes are sold. Online restrictions are also being considered.

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In September, the FDA set a 60-day deadline for several major e-cigarette companies to present their plans for keeping e-cigs away from minors.

Bonnie Herzog, senior analyst for Wells Fargo Securities weighed in, “This will likely include a combination of bans & restrictions on sales of certain e-cig flavors (except menthol) and distribution channels. While it’s not clear how broad a swath of c-stores will be targeted (the Washington Post reported only ‘tens of thousands’), we expect e-cig manufacturers and the trade to be vocal (although, realistically, we doubt they will be able to cause the FDA to course-correct in any meaningful way). As we’ve previously stated, we continue to believe any FDA action to restrict sales of e-cigs to minors will benefit tobacco manufacturers (Altria & R.J. Reynolds/British American Tobacco, in particular), especially relative to JUUL. We therefore expect tobacco stocks to trade up on the news. We reiterate our Outperform rating on Altria.”

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is asking retailers to contact their members of Congress and the FDA immediately to explain the role c-stores play as responsible retailers of legal products.

To contact the Food & Drug Administration, call 301-827-3101.

“To make progress on the issue of minors obtaining e-cigarettes, the FDA should work cooperatively with organizations like We Card and NACS that provide age verification training to tens of thousands of retailers and it should enforce the law against the most questionable actors that it has typically ignored,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president for government relations. “The FDA has refused to share the data it has on the inspections it has carried out of vape shops and other stores that would allow the industry to evaluate and address any shortcomings.