FDA officially issues ban on flavored e-cigarettes — but with significant exceptions

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The Food and Drug Administration has officially issued its ban on flavored e-cigarette cartridges — with exceptions.

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled its ban on fruit, candy, mint, and dessert flavors of small e-cigarette cartridges, but not on menthol and tobacco flavors, The Associated Press reports. Additionally, large tank vaping systems, which are used to mix flavors, will be exempt under the ban, which goes into effect in 30 days.

AP writes that these "major" exceptions "represent a significant retreat from President Donald Trump's original plan announced four months ago, which would have banned all vaping flavors — including menthol — from all types of e-cigarettes." Trump announced plans for this ban in September after six people died from lung disease tied to vaping. "We intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at the time.

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Companies will now have to stop selling the products covered under the ban within 30 days or face the threat of regulatory action, CNBC reports. Juul has already stopped selling most flavored e-cigarettes.

Trump was reportedly warned by his campaign manager that his proposed flavored vaping ban could hurt him in the 2020 election, with one senior administration official telling The Washington Post, "He didn't know much about the issue and was just doing it for Melania and Ivanka."

On Tuesday, Trump said of the upcoming ban, "We're going to protect our families, we're going to protect our children and we're going to protect the industry."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.