US flavour ban and vaping laws, what do they mean?

March 11, 2021
US flavour ban and vaping laws, what do they mean?

“The Food and Drug Administration will officially ban non tobacco and menthol e-cigarette flavours in the US '' was a headline that struck the US vaping industry hard at the beginning of this year. Both manufacturers and small independent retailers began to worry about their future, and wonder how well the industry will adapt. Almost 10 months on, what has changed?

The United States Postal Service already has banned the mailing of vape related products entirely, effective from October 21st 2021. They have officially stated that no e-cigarette devices, liquids or accessories (such as coils) can be sent through their service nationwide. This means that online vaping businesses will have to rely on regional postal services.  

As of September 9th 2021, the sale of vaping products not authorised by the FDA became technically illegal, and at risk of legal enforcement. All vaping manufacturers had until this date, to submit an application for approval by the FDA, for sale and use in the US. Of the 6.5 million products that were submitted, only 55,000 were actually denied. 

The use and sale of vaping products remains legal in the US, and although the FDA is the authority that regulates vaping products, the actual laws on vaping come down to the individual states. It’s up to their governor's office to decide on the level of restriction to enforce. 

A lot of states, such as New York, have introduced flavour and online sale bans, but only on pre-filled pod devices such as Juul pods. For these devices, you can only sell and use tobacco or menthol flavours. But the sale of flavoured e-liquids remains legal at the time of writing this article. 

In an article published on the FDA’s official website, they stated that they “will continue to review other premarket tobacco applications for non-tobacco flavored ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system) to determine whether there is sufficient product-specific scientific evidence of a benefit to adult smokers to overcome the risk posed to youth.”

But if you do plan on traveling to the states, it’s worth checking what the laws are for your destination before going.