Mar 14, 2019

The FDA's formal vaping proposal is finally here

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

After what seemed like a million incremental announcements, the Food and Drug Administration formally released its proposal yesterday to restrict the sale of flavored vape products, in the hopes of curbing their popularity among teens.

The big picture is pretty much what we expected: Physical stores must either keep out everyone younger than 18 or keep their e-cigarette supplies in a separate room inaccessible to underage customers. Online retailers must use age-verification tools.

What they're saying:

  • "They are picking winners and losers in the marketplace while handing a government monopoly to other channels of trade," the National Association of Convenience Stores said, per AP.
  • Some public-health advocates are also mad, criticizing the FDA for not banning flavored products outright, and for exempting mint and menthol flavors from its new rules. The agency said those flavors appeal primarily to adult smokers (though it's also planning to ban menthol cigarettes).
  • The American Lung Association, for one, said the FDA "continues to nibble around the edges."

How it works: The FDA told e-cigarette makers that it could pull their products from the market unless they're sold under these new conditions.

What's next: The public will have 30 days to comment on the draft the FDA released today before it's finalized.

  • Don't be surprised if convenience stores challenge the policy in court, accusing the FDA of overstepping its legal authority and putting brick-and-mortar retailers at a unique disadvantage.

Go deeper: Tobacco use is soaring among U.S. kids, driven by e-cigarettes

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the FDA doesn't have regulatory authority over convenience store.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,225,360 — Total deaths: 66,542 — Total recoveries: 252,615Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 312,249 — Total deaths: 8,503 — Total recoveries: 15,021Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August." Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: The Louisiana governor warned that his state is set to run out of ventilators in four days. Illinois governor claims Trump doesn't understand the word "federal."
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Work update: Employees still going to work are often facing temperature checks, distanced work stations, protective devices and mass absences.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Illinois governor: "The president does not understand the word 'federal'"

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's comments about the federal government's stockpile of medical equipment suggest he "does not understand the word 'federal.'"

Why it matters: White House adviser Jared Kushner argued at a press briefing last week that the "notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use."

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 8,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 8,500 in the U.S. early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday that this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health