Declaring that flavored nicotine vaping products serve little purpose other than to appeal to younger people and start them down the road to addiction, the federal government signaled last week that is moving to ban flavored e-cigarettes from the market.
"The data just shows that kids are getting access to these products in spite of our best efforts and enforcement," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. He said that the Food and Drug Administration would have details of the ban plan in the coming weeks.
In Massachusetts, MHA – a member of the Tobacco Free Massachusetts coalition – is strongly supportive of HB1092/SB1279, An Act Regulating Flavored Tobacco Products. That proposed legislation would implement a comprehensive ban on all flavored tobacco, including menthol and mint flavors, and would apply to conventional products, as well as e-cigarettes and other vape products.
In its testimony before the Joint Committee on Public Health this summer, MHA said, “According to a report from the CDC and FDA, almost a third of the middle and high school students who used e-cigarettes in 2016 said the availability of flavors was a main reason they did. Eighty percent of Massachusetts high school youth who are current tobacco users reported using a flavored tobacco product in the past 30 days … Mint, wintergreen, and menthol are popular flavors among young people, and they are one of the most popular flavors among youth consumers.”
Earlier this month, Michigan became the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes.