Attorneys general urge FDA to strengthen nicotine guidance

Attorneys general urge FDA to strengthen nicotine guidance

A bipartisan coalition of attorneys general is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strengthen guidance on how it will enforce regulations of electronic nicotine delivery systems or electronic cigarettes.

The coalition asks the FDA to expand and strengthen its enforcement guidance to include menthol flavors and products that are not cartridge-based. Lack of guidance creates loopholes e-cigarette manufacturers can exploit, the coalition said.

In January, the FDA released guidelines describing how it will prioritize e-cigarette enforcement resources. Still, the recommendations did not prioritize disposable products or refillable cartridge systems that are popular among young people.

Mint flavored e-cigarette products are included in the new priorities, but the coalition is urging menthol flavors also be included because menthol shares many of the same characteristics as mint.

The FDA said that it had not changed its menthol guidance so that it avoided removing any incentive for adult smokers who might switch from using combustible cigarettes to potentially less harmful e-cigarettes.

A 2020 surgeon general report said there was not enough evidence to show that e-cigarettes increase smoking cessation, the coalition said. Instead, the coalition contends, the benefits of menthols’ availability to adult smokers do not outweigh the risks to youth smokers.