RICHMOND, Va. – Attorney General Jason Miyares today sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking for increased regulation of illegal Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS, like e-cigarettes and vapes.
The Attorney General notes that while steps have been taken to restrict youth access to ENDS products, there is no centralized enforcement mechanism or license to hold shops accountable. Additionally, many illegal, knock-off ENDS products are being smuggled into the country from China and pose the risk of being laced with fentanyl. In order to curb this danger from products designed for youth, the FDA needs to refocus on enforcement and regulation.
The letter states that “the Associated Press recently advanced the opinion that the influx of illegal disposable ENDS products are due to ‘the Food and Drug Administration’s inability to control the tumultuous vaping market more than three years after declaring a crackdown on kid-friendly flavors.'” The FDA’s ban on these products was not followed with the requisite introduction of a regulatory system that would control the ENDS product marketplace and establish enforcement authority over retailers and distributors. The inevitable result of this regulatory vacuum is that disposable vape device product sales have “more than doubled” since January 2020 because, according to reports, flavored disposable e-cigarettes “took a back seat in federal enforcement actions.”
The letter suggests that the FDA create a clear and frequently updated list of all the legal, regulated ENDS products on the market, which would allow state legislatures to create their own statewide retail permit – similar to how tobacco is handled.
Read the full letter here.
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