U.S. health officials are cracking down on fruity disposable electronic cigarettes that are extremely popular with teenagers, saying that the companies never had permission to sell them in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter this week telling the company behind Puff Bar e-cigarettes to remove them from the market within 15 business days, including products containing fruity flavors such as mango, pink lemonade, and strawberry. A notice on the company’s website says online sales and distribution have stopped until further notice.
Marketing to Young People
The FDA has also sent warning letters to nine other companies selling similarly unauthorized e-cigarettes or nicotine solutions that illegally appeal to children. Some of those mimic the packaging of sweets and cereals that kids like, such as Twinkies and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The seller of Puff Bar is Cool Clouds Distribution of Glendale, California. This crackdown by the FDA comes months after anti-vaping advocates warned that disposable vapes like Puff Bar were a glaring loophole in the FDA’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
That policy, which took effect in February, narrowly targeted reusable vaping devices such as Juul, a wildly popular brand that made way for a teen vaping craze nationwide. Under the policy, only menthol and tobacco flavors were allowed for those devices. However, the flavor restrictions did not apply to disposable vaping products like Puff Bar. Anti-tobacco advocates have welcomed this action from the FDA as a “necessary and overdue step.”
But, they’ve also said that it only addresses a small number of e-cigarettes and doesn’t even cover all disposable e-cigarettes. Advocates are calling for a ban on flavors of all vaping and tobacco products, including menthol. While proponents of vaping say it can help adult smokers kick the habit, the FDA has never approved any e-cigarette for that purpose. Puff Bars are small enough to fit into a pocket and resemble a USB flash drive, and young people prefer to use them to conceal them from parents or teachers. Each pod device comes pre-charged and pre-filled. Once the vapor runs out, it cannot be recharged or refilled.
Regulation is Required
The problem with a number of e-cigarette products and accessories is that these products have not been properly regulated. As a result, we see substandard products that have the potential to explode not to mention causing severe health effects in young people, including permanent lung damage or even death. If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered health effects due to e-cigarettes, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.