Apr 16, 2022 - Health

FDA increasing oversight of synthetic nicotine products

A photo illustration of Puff Bar e-cigarettes

Puff Bar E-Cigarette products sit on a counter. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Under a new law that took effect this week, the Food and Drug Administration can crack down on vaping companies that use synthetic nicotine, the AP reports.

Driving the news: The new law closed a loophole that certain companies had exploited to avoid oversight of their products, including flavored e-cigarette company Puff Bar.

Background: Originally, FDA oversight of cigarettes and related products pertained solely to tobacco-based nicotine. Some companies pivoted to using synthetic nicotine in e-cigarette liquid cartridges and nicotine pouches.

  • The change, which Congress passed in March, gives the FDA the authority to regulate all forms of nicotine.
  • While the measure doesn’t outlaw synthetic nicotine products automatically, companies are now required to register with the FDA and submit their products for review within 30 days.
  • The new law also subjects synthetic nicotine products to the same age limit and sales restrictions as natural tobacco products.
  • The FDA banned all flavors in cartridge-based e-cigarettes except menthol and tobacco in 2020. However, the ban didn’t apply to disposable e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

What they’re saying: FDA Commissioner Robert Califf tweeted that the new law gave the agency the authority to "hold e-cigarette companies using synthetic nicotine to the same public health standards we’ve implemented for other tobacco products.”

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