The American Association for Respiratory Care is extremely disappointed in the Administration’s limited plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes from the market. The ban would include flavored, cartridge-based e-cigarettes that contain vaping liquids (other than tobacco and menthol flavors) but would allow refillable-type products typically sold in vape shops to remain on the market. This policy change is largely a concession to the tobacco industry and is unacceptable when it puts the health of our youth at risk. It is also a significant step backward from the Administration’s original policy announced in September 2019 in which all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, were to be removed from the market.
Allowing flavors that can be used in refillable vaping devices, such as the fruity ones in which teens are attracted, to remain on the market in vape shops and continuing to allow menthol e-cigarette pods which youth will migrate to if they cannot get the fruity flavors they prefer, will do little to curb the rising youth tobacco epidemic for which the policy was supposed to address.
The AARC supported the Administration’s original policy but we do not support this change. We cannot wait for more youth to pick up the vaping habit. It is incumbent on the Administration to re-evaluate this retreat in policy direction and its impact on e-cigarette use among teens. The mental and physical health of our youth should not be put at risk over lobbying tactics by the vaping industry and its slogan “WE VAPE, WE VOTE.”