Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a bipartisan coalition of 26 attorneys general urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strengthen its enforcement guidance on e-cigarettes. As it stands, the current guidance will not decrease e-cigarette use among underage citizens and creates loopholes that manufacturers can exploit.
“The FDA has set forth guidelines that, while helpful, do not go far enough to protect our children from the heavily marketed allure of flavored electronic cigarettes,” said Attorney General Paxton. “It’s no secret that e-cigarette use amongst Texas youth has grown exponentially in the past few years. Our children need protections in place that prevent companies from luring them into tough-to-break nicotine addiction with disposable, often sweet-flavored alternatives to cigarettes that have not proved to be any safer than other tobacco products.”
The FDA released guidance in January describing how the agency will prioritize e-cigarette enforcement resources, particularly against flavored, cartridge-based e-cigarettes, with the exception of tobacco or menthol flavored products. However, the guidance does not prioritize disposable products or refillable cartridge systems that are popular among youth. The bipartisan coalition also states that the FDA’s decision to permit menthol products is problematic, as manufacturers may mislabel their e-cigarette flavors, and flavored nicotine delivery systems continue to grow in popularity with the underage population.