FDA May Ban Flavored E-Cig Products From Convenience Stores

By Victoria Kim 10/24/18
If the ban becomes a reality, places like 7-Eleven and Shell would no longer carry flavored e-cig products.
person vaping with an e-cigarette

Continuing its crusade to push back on “epidemic” levels of young people vaping, the FDA is now considering whether flavored e-cigarette products should be limited to being sold in vaping shops.

This would mean that convenience stores and gas stations like 7-Eleven, Circle K, Shell and Mobil would no longer carry flavored e-cig products.

These four merchants were caught up in a nationwide undercover sweep over the summer that resulted in 1,300 warning letters from the FDA to retailers illegally selling e-cigarette products to minors.

“We’re looking at what can be sold in brick-and-mortar stores and whether or not flavored products can be sold in regular stores like 7-Eleven and a truck stop and a gas station, or whether or not flavored products on the market should be confined to adult vaping shops, which generally tend to do a better job of checking ID,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a recent interview.

The FDA has been cracking down on e-cigarette makers and merchants based on the concern that vaping is becoming too accessible to middle- and high-schoolers.

According to federal figures cited by Gottlieb, in 2017, use of e-cigarettes among high schoolers increased by 77%, and by 50% among middle schoolers.

“We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, and we must adjust certain aspects of our comprehensive strategy to stem this clear and present danger,” said Gottlieb in a September news release. “We cannot allow a whole generation to become addicted to nicotine.”

At that time, the FDA requested that five major e-cigarette brands—Juul, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu and Logic—submit plans to “immediately and substantially reverse these trends” of young people vaping.

The companies were warned that if they do not comply within 60 days, the agency may require them to “revise their sales and marketing practices, to stop distributing products to retailers who sell to kids and to stop selling some or all of their flavored e-cigarette products until they clear the application process,” CNBC reported at the time.

In the recent interview, Gottlieb said that so far the FDA has met with Juul, Altria (MarkTen) and Reynolds (Vuse).

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr