FDA Action Against Puff Bar and… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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FDA Action Against Puff Bar and Other Disposable E-Cigarettes Is a Positive Step to Protect Kids, but Not a Substitute for a Ban on All Flavored Products

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
July 20, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FDA today has taken a positive step to protect America’s kids by ordering ten companies that sell certain flavored, disposable e-cigarettes, including Puff Bar, and some outrageously kid-friendly e-liquids to take their products off the market. This is a welcome, necessary and overdue step given the growing popularity of Puff Bar and other disposable e-cigarettes among kids – and growing sales of these products – since the FDA restricted the sale of some types of flavored e-cigarettes earlier this year. Disposable e-cigarettes like Puff Bar can deliver massive doses of highly addictive nicotine and are sold in an assortment of kid-friendly flavors, from banana ice to pink lemonade.

While today’s action is a positive step, it  is not a substitute for a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes given the clear evidence that flavors have fueled skyrocketing youth use. Rather than playing whack-a-mole with a handful of egregious products only after they become popular with our nation’s kids, the FDA should clear the market of the thousands of flavored e-cigarettes that are still for sale. As long as some flavored e-cigarettes remain available, kids will migrate to them and we will not solve this youth addiction crisis. 

Rather than clearing the market of all flavored e-cigarettes, as it initially proposed, the Trump Administration in February implemented a loophole-riddled policy that left thousands of flavored e-cigarettes for sale and provided a roadmap for manufacturers to continue targeting and addicting kids. Today’s FDA action addresses a significant, but small number of these products and does not even cover all disposable e-cigarettes. This action may not even cover all versions of Puff Bar, as the product appears to be sold by multiple companies and new versions not named in the FDA’s warning letter – like Puff Flow – are regularly and illegally introduced without required FDA authorization. Only a comprehensive ban on all flavored e-cigarettes can stop manufacturers from exploiting loopholes and continually introducing new kid-friendly products.

The FDA has another opportunity to clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes because e-cigarette manufacturers face a court-ordered September 9, 2020, deadline to apply to the FDA and demonstrate a public health benefit in order to keep their products on the market. The FDA should not authorize the marketing of any flavored e-cigarettes – or other flavored tobacco products – given the overwhelming evidence that flavored products attract youth and the lack of evidence that flavored products help smokers quit.  

Only the elimination of all flavored e-cigarettes can reverse skyrocketing youth use and prevent e-cigarettes from addicting a new generation of kids. Until the FDA takes nationwide action, states and cities should continue their growing efforts to prohibit the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.