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Vaping loophole closes as FDA can now regulate all forms of nicotine


A loophole vaping companies have used to circumvent regulators and keep their products off shelves this week, allowing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to crack down on a myriad of illegally marketed products in a variety of flavors.

In order to avoid FDA scrutiny, the companies manufacture synthetic nicotine in the lab – not derived from tobacco and therefore under the agency’s purview. But the national spending bill signed into law on March 15 “clearly indicates that the FDA may regulate tobacco products containing nicotine from any source,” the agency said Wednesday, the day before the entry. in definitive force of the law.

Now anyone who makes or sells “tobacco-free nicotine” must comply with FDA regulations, which also include not selling to anyone under 21, not giving away free samples, and not not claim that their products are less harmful than cigarettes without FDA clearance. .

Companies that make these products must also register them with the agency and submit a “premarket application” by May 14 in order to remain legally on the market. This review includes examining their marketing and youth adoption, for example.

By the end of January, more than 6.6 million products had been successfully submitted to the agency, almost all of which were e-cigarette products. Only a small handful have been allowed to remain on the market, and more than 1.2 million have been rejected while others are in regulatory limbo.

Last week, FDA leaders wrote an advisory in The Hill outlining how vaping companies would change their nicotine source after receiving warnings from the FDA. Now, these companies “will be held to the same public health standards that we have worked so hard to implement for other tobacco products,” they wrote.

Among the products newly monitored by the FDA is a disposable brand known as Puff Bar, which comes in a variety of flavors and was most popular among college students in 2021. More than a quarter of high school students who currently vaping have declared Puff Bar to be their regular brand. CNN has contacted Puff Bar for comment.

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