Trump Flavor Ban: How It Will Affect Vapers and the Vape Industry


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Trump Flavor Ban Goes Into Effect

The promised flavor vape ban has finally gone into effect as of February 6th, 2020. This sweeping ban on flavored e-cigarettes has caused an uproar across the vaping community and beyond. Public health groups and parents groups criticize the act for not being far-reaching enough while vape shop owners fear they'll go out of business. Meanwhile, teens are indifferent as a loophole in the law lets disposable flavored vapes remain on the market.

Which Products are Banned?

First things first, let's clear up a common misconception. The ban only covers flavors in pre-filled, reusable devices, aka the Juul. Juul, being a responsible e-cigarette company, had already pulled its flavored cartridges from the market and was only selling tobacco and menthol flavors. But what other products are affected by the ban? It turns out, not many.

Second, the “ban” allows many products to remain on the market, including E-liquid not in pods or cartridges, disposable pre-filled vapes, and open tanks. This significant loophole is making anti-vaping crusaders throw up their arms in frustration.

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.

Getting Around the Law

Many vape companies are already taking advantage of this loophole by marketing their disposable products as an alternative to the banned reusable devices. The Puff Bar, for instance, is a disposable device and slyly falls under the radar since it is not a reusable device. Puff Bar flavors like Mango, Lychee Ice, and Blue Raz are not affected by the ban.

The FDA Crackdown

While many vape retailers are expected not to comply with the ban, the FDA will prioritize enforcement action on vape products marketed to young people, 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 vaping giants such as Big Tobacco companies have already submitted applications for devices like the Vuse, Njoy, and Juul, smaller companies and retailers may be left out in the lurch come May 12th. In anticipation of the “vapocalypse,” many vape makers are even holding sales of their products, in case they do not win FDA approval.

In Conclusion

The Trump flavor ban has certainly caused waves across the vaping industry, with no clear outcome. For the time being, it seems the vast majority of disposable products will remain on the market, but many in the industry are fearing the looming deadline of May 12th. The future of vaping is uncertain, but with final FDA approval, it may become possible to regulate the industry and improve vaping products and safety measures.

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.

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