Vaping has always been under scrutiny from the FDA, in part because of its use of nicotine and accessibility, and in part because of how popular it has become over the last decade. It is not surprising that the industry has undergone so many changes in the last decade; with vaping having become such an internationally booming industry, all eyes have turned to these money-making smoking cessation tools. With big industry comes big focus, and therefore there has been much debate around vaping.
None more than the past month, however. A few weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration banned a range if vape flavours being sold at petrol stations and corner shops. The flavours being hit with this blanket sweep ban are mostly candy and fruit flavours, affecting the sales of brands like JUUL outside of the vape store and online retail markets. There are a wide range of reasons for this, but it is unclear as of now how this will affect the market in general, and what this means for the future of vaping.
What does the ban entail?
The ban itself means that shops outside of the vape shop and online world can only sell tobacco, mint, and menthol flavour vape juices. These may be the main flavours used by high PG starter devices such as cigalikes and cartridge-based devices but restricts much of the versatility of refillable tank-based devices, who have a broad and often experimental range of flavours. If you’re looking for that jelly baby and milkshake flavour e liquid, then it’s now best you look to vape shops and online stores.
Corner shops and vaping
The reason for the ban’s specific focus on corner shops and convenience stores in the USA is that these are the places where young people are more likely to purchase vaping devices and e cigarette liquids from. These shops are more accessible than the vape shops and online stores, who are stricter on selling their vape devices.
This could have an especially negative impact on vape companies such as JUUL, who are known for their wide range of flavours which are available in corner shops and for great value prices as well. The easy to use nature of these devices means that they have been the go to for underage vapers, and corner shops are the easiest place for them to purchase the devices illegally.
Although it hasn’t been set in stone, there are further restrictions being concocted by the San Francisco based FDA. This includes age restrictions being more stringently enforced. Vape shops and online stores will likely have to up their game to keep up with the expectations of the FDA, and their worries about underage vaping.
Why ban flavours?
So, we’ve looked a little into the effect this has had on the vaping industry, but what’s evidence behind the enforcing of the new restrictions?
According to data from the USA, the last year has seen an 80 percent rise in vape use by middle school children and 50 percent in high school children. This widespread use has led to the Food and Drug Administration exploring ways in which they can curb this usage.
Vaping companies appealing to youth
One of the reasons why there are worries about underage vaping is in the way that vape flavours are marketed to the public. With sweet and fruity flavours having a natural appeal to younger people, these flavours make it more likely that they pick up the habit, and with corner shops being the most accessible space for them to buy these flavours, the logical conclusion is to curb the selling of these flavours in the shops.