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FDA to decide fate of vape industry in U.S. this week

Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 21:14:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Food and Drug Administration is slated to decide Thursday how or if e-cigarette companies can continue selling their products.

The agency is now reviewing millions of premarket tobacco product applications (or PMTAs) from e-cigarette companies.

Essentially, the companies are required to prove to the FDA that their products are safe enough to continue to be sold in the United States.

In recent years, the FDA has been under mounting scrutiny from policymakers and public health leaders after e-cigarettes grew more popular among teens and other youth groups.

Until now, companies have been able to sell and market their products under limited restrictions.

Elite Smoke & Vape In Murray is one business that could be impacted by the FDA’s decision.

Owner Ryan Delahuerta speculated what could happen.

“We are going to see our wall of e-juice shrink down to probably just a couple of brands,” said Delahuerta.

He explained that his vaping inventory makes up 70 percent of his sales.

Delahuerta also told FOX 13 News that this change will reinforce the sale of e-cigarettes through alternative, shadier markets.

“You’re already seeing a black market emerge on social media selling these, that’s unregulated, and that’s where teens can get ahold of them," he said.

Meanwhile, one medical professional told FOX 13 News that he considers this a step in the right direction.

“It’s a good part of public health strategy because it will probably limit the number of youths from using e-cigarettes,” said Sean Callahan, a professor of medicine at the University of Utah.

He adds that some adults could be unhappy with the outcome because these vaping products have helped them with their smoke cessation efforts.

Just last week, CNN reported that the FDA blocked the sale of more than 55,000 flavored e-cigarette products.

It was the first ban on products of that kind since PMTAs had to be submitted in September 2020.