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Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot (who’s also running for governor) just banned disposables vapes

Since anti-vaping activists around the nation are now consistently claiming that Trump’s partial flavor ban is filled with loopholes, Maryland is deciding to take matters into its own hands.  On Monday, the state’s comptroller Peter Franchot (D) announced that the flavor ban will now extend to all disposable or closed-tank systems statewide.

The troubles began almost immediately after the Trump Administration released its new FDA regulations in early January.  Since the preceding September, the president appeared to be waffling on his initial decision to ban all flavored vapes.  During a White House press conference that month, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had gotten the idea from the First Lady.

Related Article:   Trump budget proposal suggests FDA should BUTT OUT of vaping

Then the fun began. Tobacco control lobbyists were infuriated because they wanted to abolish the entire vaping industry – flavored or otherwise.  The vaping advocacy organizations were angry because they feared that their industry would be eviscerated by a total federal ban on everything.  After a heated meeting at the White House which included members of both opposing sides along with selected leaders of the medical community, Trump made his decision.

The real reason Maryland’s Peter Franchot is banning flavored disposable vapes

On January 2, 2020, just as everyone in the nation was heading back to work after the New Year’s activities,  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a press release outlining the new FDA guidance policy.  In short, flavored pod- and cartridge-styled vapor products would be banned within the next thirty days.  It officially went into full effect last week.  Exempt from the new regulations are nicotine and menthol flavored pods along with the following additional restrictions.

  • Refillable flavors of bottled e-liquids sold in vape shops and e-commerce sites that are used in closed-tank systems are also exempt.
  • Age-restrictive vape shops may continue to sell their flavored, separately-bottled e-liquids but cannot continue offering flavored pod- and cartridge-styled products.
  • E-commerce sites can continue selling flavored, separately-bottled e-liquids as long as they have proper age verification software in place.
  • The FDA also reserves the right to ban any flavored vapor product in the future, especially in cases where they deem the packaging or marketing strategies to be too “kid-appealing.”

Vaping and tobacco control activists found the administration’s partial flavor ban rather odd.  For years now, the FDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and politicians from both sides of the political aisle had been aggressively denouncing JUUL Labs for its alleged role in the teen vaping “epidemic.”  Yet, none of the new policies addressed the JUUL issue in the slightest.  JUUL Labs had already stopped manufacturing flavored vapor products months ago.

It would appear as if this is the “loophole” that has the Maryland comptroller so riled up.  In a statement published in The Hill, Mr. Franchot said, “I will not stand idly by letting kids get addicted to nicotine and hurt by these unregulated products that are marketed directly towards them.” Perhaps coincidentally, Franchot also has plans to run for governor in the 2022 election. 

Related Article:   Inslee’s anti-vaping bill fails to pass congress; temporary flavor ban ends today

(Image courtesy of YouTube/ Maryland WJZ News)

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