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 CATEGORY FOCUS... TOBACCO (CONT’D)
   with the FDA on or before May 12 to allow the product to continue to be sold during the FDA PMTA application review period.
The FDA has informed the industry that retailers and wholesalers need to determine their own best practices for complying with the Final Guidance because flavored cartridge-based and pod-based electronic nicotine products (except tobacco-flavored and menthol-flavored products) are considered illegal to market and sell as of February 6.
At the same time, the agency understands that retailers and whole- salers may need to store flavored cartridge-based and pod-based electronic nicotine products (except tobacco-flavored and menthol- flavored products) on and after February 6 until the products can be returned to a distributor or a manufacturer.
This means that these products should be stored in a manner to prevent customers from thinking that the products are still available for purchase and in a place within a store
or a warehouse that is not accessible to the public.
The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) recommends that retailers consider packing the flavored cartridge-based and pod-based electronic nicotine products that are to be returned in boxes and be sealed as a further precaution to prevent the products from being sold on and after February 6.
US House Passes Flavor Vape Ban
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 2339, which requires a national ban on flavored vaping products and all online sales in every state, by a vote of 213-195.
The House bill calls for the ban of flavored vaping products and online sales in all 50 states. Democrats Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Donna Shalala of Florida introduced the bill nearly a year ago as the "Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act."
Critics say if passed by both houses and signed into law by the president, the measure would destroy the vaping industry. Others say that vaping offers a less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking and hampering the industry would remove that option for those who would switch from tobacco.
While supporters touted the aim of the legislation is to curb use of vape products among children under 18 years of age, critics also pointed
out that the federal minimum age restriction of 21 has been in effect for only two months, which is not enough time to measure it's success in keeping tobacco and vape products out of the hands of minors.
The House version requires the FDA to extend regulations on tobacco products to all vape products, including e-cigarettes; prohibits non-face-to-face retail sales, which would effectively ban online sales of tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS); and prohibits the use of flavored ENDS products, except if approved by the FDA.
The law also requires the FDA to implement regulations to require color graphics on the labeling of cigarette packages, depicting the negative health consequences of smoking as well as regulates products containing synthetic nicotine.
Of the representatives voting to pass the measure, 208 Democrats were joined by five Republicans. Seventeen Democrats joined 177 Republicans voting against the bill, as did one independent.
One of the strong objections to the House bill from the vaping industry is the increase in user fees it calls for the FDA to collect from vaping product manufacturers. The fees – estimated to be around $100M – would push prices up. Critics say that few of the of the smaller, independent vape makers will be able to remain viable if the new regulations are implemented. n
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