Flavored e-cigarette sales are booming despite federal crackdown

A pile of used or discarded vape pens discovered littering the streets in New York Metropolis.

Lindsey Nicholson | Common Photos Group | Getty Photos

Efforts to limit e-cigarette flavors favored by teenagers might have fallen flat as new manufacturers hit the market, in accordance with a brand new report.

Fruit, sweet, spice and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes which have lengthy been fashionable amongst underage people who smoke have proliferated lately, in accordance with information analyzed by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, the CDC Basis and the Reality Initiative.

Flavored e-cigarettes represented 41.3% of U.S. retail-store e-cigarette unit gross sales in December 2022, up from 29.2% in January 2020, the organizations discovered. General e-cigarette gross sales within the U.S. rose about 47% in the course of the interval. 

The spike in gross sales comes regardless of a federal crackdown that positioned extra restrictions on the flavors and advertising and marketing for tobacco merchandise.

“The dramatic spikes in youth e-cigarette use again in 2017 and 2018, primarily pushed by JUUL, confirmed us how rapidly e-cigarette gross sales and use patterns can change,” mentioned Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, director of the CDC’s Workplace on Smoking and Well being. “Retail gross sales information are key to offering real-time info on the quickly altering e-cigarette panorama, which is important to decreasing youth tobacco use.”

Citing the enchantment of flavored e-cigarettes to youngsters, the FDA introduced in January 2020 that it might prohibit gross sales of candy and fruit-flavored e-cigarette pre-filled pods, which led to the demise of huge manufacturers akin to Juul and Vuse.

Between January 2020 and December 2022, unit shares of pre-filled cartridges decreased from 75.2% to 48.0%.

Nonetheless, the flavour limitations did not have an effect on disposable cigarettes, which on the finish of 2019 solely represented 15% of e-cigarette unit gross sales in U.S. retail shops, in accordance with the info. Between January 2022 and December 2022, disposable e-cigarette unit shares elevated from 24.7% to 51.8% of complete unit gross sales.

They now characterize greater than half the U.S. e-cigarette market.

Nicotine is extremely addictive and may hurt the adolescent mind, which continues to develop by roughly age 25, in accordance with the CDC. Furthermore, the company discovered that hottest manufacturers of disposable e-cigarettes in the marketplace — Puff Bar, Elf Bar and Breeze Smoke — aren’t FDA-approved and are unlawful. The FDA has solely approved disposable e-cigarette model NJOY Day by day, which is available in two tobacco flavors.

Final 12 months, the FDA ordered Elf Bar and Breeze Smoke off the U.S. market, in accordance with the CDC report.

“The tobacco trade is properly conscious that flavors enchantment to and appeal to youngsters, and that younger persons are uniquely susceptible to nicotine dependancy,” mentioned Robin Koval, CEO and president of the Reality Initiative. “Whereas we’re inspired by [the] FDA’s latest actions to curb illegal advertising and marketing of flavored e-cigarettes, all of us should work with even better urgency to guard our nation’s youth from all flavored e-cigarettes, together with disposables.”

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