Flavored e-cigs have come under a significant amount of heat lately due to some of the e-cigarettes and vaporizers exploding. Nontobacco flavors such as peppermint, menthol, and even root beer have many more people picking up e-cigs, which has led to the growing industry.
FDA regulations are in place that prevent e-cigarettes, which still falls under tobacco, to be sold to those who are under the age of 18. However, they’re finalizing a plan that will ban flavored e-cigarettes from the market entirely. It will also require tobacco-flavored e-cigs to go through a federal review. Israel has recently banned flavored cartridges.
Much of the race to make new regulations comes as a result of people developing lung damage as a result of the thing. Federal officials are still investigating the cause of the illnesses, though it may be linked to the e-cig cartridges that contain nicotine or THC.
There has been a vape-pen related illness killing six and sickening at least 450. The Sec. of the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, has already announced that they plan to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes entirely, particularly as a way to reverse the epidemic of the youth vaping. If such a ban takes place, the industry stands to take a significant financial hit – one that many companies are fighting against.
What this means for the flavored e-cig industry is that it is going to be slowly disappearing. Robert McMillen, a professor of psychology at Mississippi State University who is also the associate director of the Tobacco Control Unit is happy to hear about the FDA announcement of banning flavored e-cigarettes. He believes that the ban will result in reducing the number of adolescents who begin using these products.
All of this comes as a result of ecig statistics that identify that the number of people vaping or using e-cigarettes has increased by 35 million since 2016. Based on this, if bans are not issued in order to reduce the number of people who are vaping, it can lead to a considerable increase yet again by 2021 — with estimates as high as 55 million adults they being.
Across the globe, the gaping market has grown dramatically, with an estimated worth of around $22.6 billion. The largest market for products includes the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan. Additionally, there has been an increase in e-cigarette users throughout Europe, with an increase of 86% between the years of 2013 and 2018.
While other countries are still allowing their residents to use flavored e-cigarettes, the FDA is working quickly to create a ban. However, it is not identified as to whether that will simply eliminate in-store sales or if websites that offer the flavored e-cigarette cartridges will be required to shut down their sales to US residents as well.
The number of flavors produced by e-cig companies has grown considerably over the past several years. Now, people who simply want to vape without using it as a substitute for tobacco and cigarettes can do so by choosing fruit and food flavors. Some have also been flavored with cannabis, offering a wide array of solutions. According to BBC 2019, approximately 50% of all flavored e-cigarettes are fruit or cannabis flavored. The FDA and a various number of independent studies have also estimated that many people are choosing the flavors over tobacco. This means that vaping is no longer being used solely as a substitution to get away from cigarettes.
Many establishments also allow people to vape in public since it does not have the same effect as secondhand smoke of cigarettes. This is a huge appeal as many people want to be able to smoke as a way of keeping themselves busy. In areas where cigarettes are not allowed, people use vape pens and e-cigs in movie theatres, bars, restaurants, festivals, and more.
While flavored e-cigs may become a thing of the past throughout the United States, if the FDA is looking to prevent e-cigarettes as a whole, they will need to look at rethinking the way that they allow them to be used in public. Some of the appeal goes beyond bubblegum and cannabis flavored vape juice. It’s the fact that people can feel like they are smoking in public areas. If there were to be bans on where people can vape, it may put an end to the growing trend all over the globe.
In the meantime, studies are being conducted globally to determine what the long-term effects are of vaping since there simply aren’t many medical reports to identify as such.