The promised flavor vape ban went into effect this week. No one is happy. Public health groups
and parents groups say the act does not go far enough. Vape shop owners worry they’ll go out of business.
Teens are indifferent. Not only have they stopped using the Juul, but a loophole in the law lets disposable flavored
vapes remain on the market. It makes one question whether the ban is needed at all. Trump himself lamented even getting involved, saying he “should have never done
that (expletive) vaping thing”.
If you are wondering how the ban will affect you, keep reading to find out.
Which Products are Banned?
First, the ban only covers flavors in pre-filled, reusable devices, aka the Juul. This approach
seems too-little, too-late, as Juul already pulled its flavored cartridges and is now only selling tobacco and
Second, the “ban” allows many products to remain on the market. This loophole is what is making
anti-vaping crusaders throw up their arms in frustration. The law does not cover:
- E-liquid not in pods or cartridges
- Disposable, pre-filled vapes
- Open tank devices
If you get your vape on with these products, you are in the clear. With that said, if you use something other than
the Juul or Phix, then you should have no problems. The other go-to device that exploits the significant loophole
in the law is the Puff Bar.
Getting Around the Law
The public’s preoccupation with the Juul has been advantageous for other vape companies. While the rest of the
world unloads on the Juul device, other e-cigarettes have filled the vacuum for nicotine-starved adolescents to
get their fix.
The Puff Bar is a disposable device and slyly falls under the radar since it is not a reusable device. And because
it is a disposable device, Puff Bar flavors like Mango, Lychee Ice, and Blue Raz are not affected by the ban.
So, to be clear, any pre-filled, disposable vape like Puff Bars or the Stig will not be affected.
But this loophole will close come May 12th, and even those devices will have to seek and win FDA approval.
Toothless and Ineffective
Many vape retailers are expected not to comply, despite the ban. The FDA admitted as much in an email to CNN. An FDA spokesperson
wrote that “the public may continue to see some of the types of products outlined in the [FDA’s] priorities on the
The spokesperson went on to say that the agency will prioritize enforcement action on vape products marketed to
young people. The FDA also noted that inspections of retail shops would continue, although, given the drop in enforcement action taken by the agency during the Trump
administration, that seems unlikely. Still, vape makers are facing an even more significant obstacle than
the current vape ban.
Many vape manufacturers, not wanting to run afoul of the FDA, are complying with the ban. That’s because, after
May 12th, the agency will have the final say on which vape products make it to market, and which do
not. The deadline for premarket approval is fast-approaching.
The approval is the FDA’s most significant step toward regulating the previously unregulated vaping industry, and it
is what is causing the most hand-wringing in the vape industry. All vape makers will have to submit applications.
Those who do will get a one-year grace period allowing their products to continue being sold until the agency
decides on their application.
While the vaping giants, aka Big Tobacco companies, have already submitted applications for devices like the Vuse,
NJoy, and Juul, smaller companies and retailers may be left out of the lurch come May 12th. In
anticipation of “vapocalypse”, many vape makers are even holding sales of their products, in case they do not win
Written by James Bickford
My way of understanding the significance of vaping came not only through the disruption of smoking but its effects
on society as a whole. Now I bring people to vaping and bring vaping to people. I love using new gear, writing
in-depth reviews, and generally nerding out about vaping to like-minded people.