Maryland becomes first state in nation to prohibit sales of disposable flavored e-cigarettes

In response to a nationwide, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effort to crackdown on Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs), Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced his disappointment this week and laid out plans that would see his state would go much further.

At the heart of Franchot’s concerns are flavored disposable e-cigarettes. The FDA’s effort banned flavored cartridges as of Feb. 6, but left room for disposable e-cigarettes to operate. These are growing in popularity among the young, the Maryland Comptroller claims, and thus represent a glaring loophole exposing them to danger. The Field Enforcement Division will, therefore, enforce additional measures against the products most used by children: things like Strawberry Hard Candy, Pineapple Lemonade, Mango Bomb, Berry Gelato, Lush Ice, and O.M.G.

“Today, in addition to the FDA’s prohibition of flavored e-cigarette cartridges, I have directed our enforcement agents to take more aggressive action by prohibiting the sale of disposable ESDs with flavors other than tobacco or menthol,” Franchot said. “As the state’s tobacco regulator, it’s my legal and moral responsibility to protect consumers, especially children, from the hazardous substances contained in these unauthorized products.”

Such measures were necessitated by growing reports of health-related issues, including death, caused by ESDs. Franchot said that, at the same time, ESD use among teens has skyrocketed as marketing directly targeted them.

The Field Enforcement Division has notified industry leaders of the change. Violators could see their licenses suspended or revoked, in addition to other penalties. License checks and product inspections are to begin immediately to guarantee compliance.

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