High Court to Decide on Legal Powers of FDA in Vaping Regulation

United States – As a case that challenges the U. S Food And Drug Administration approval or rejection of new vaping products, the U. S Supreme Court has agreed on Tuesday to determine if the agency legally banned flavored e-cigarettes.

Health Concerns and Market Presence

Flavored vapes have not been approved in the recent past by the FDA because they are a threat to people’s health due to their impact of encouraging the use of e-cigarettes among the youths. But they are still present in the United States’ market, as reported by HealthDay.

On the other hand, vaping companies stated that the agency is wrong, with such products being useful for smoking cessation.

The makers of e-cigarettes have sued the FDA across the country, NBC News noted.

Legal Battles Across the Country

Although the FDA has been successful in the majority of those cases, it decided to appeal to the Supreme Court after the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two vape companies that wanted the FDA to review their products for approval in January.

Specifically, that appeals court ruled that the FDA erred in not properly evaluating the companies’ requests in a manner prohibited by a federal statute known as the Administrative Procedure Act, NBC News noted.

Yolonda Richardson, the president and CEO of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, adds that the Supreme Court should overturn the Fifth Circuit decision because if not, it will bring negative and detrimental effects to the public, especially to kids. “This decision also flies in the face of seven other federal circuit courts that have affirmed FDA marketing denial orders on flavored electronic cigarettes.”

The case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear was filed by Triton Distribution, a company that prepares e-liquids for the vape pens, such as “Signature Series Mom’s Pistachio” and “Suicide Bunny Mother’s Milk and Cookies,” NBC News reported; another is Vapestasia which sought to approve flavors like “Iced Pineapple Express,” and “Killer Kustard Bluebery.”

As legal suits surround flavored vaping products, there has been an increasement of teens who use other nicotine containing products.

Increasing Youth Vaping

“Youth e-cigarette use remains a serious public health problem in the United States,” Richardson said. “According to the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2.1 million kids use e-cigarettes and nearly 90% of them use flavored products, with the most-reported flavors including fruit, candy/desserts/other sweets, mint and menthol.”

However, the FDA recently cleared menthol-flavored e-cigarettes for the first time, and it also reversed the ban of Juul in selling its vape products, as reported by HealthDay.

“The FDA’s decision today to authorize the sale of four menthol-flavored e-cigarettes made by NJOY — the first time the agency has authorized the sale of any flavored e-cigarettes — is deeply troubling given the extensive scientific evidence that menthol is a flavor that appeals to kids and the FDA’s repeated conclusions that flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol-flavored products, have driven youth e-cigarette use,” Richardson said in a statement when the agency approved menthol vaping products.

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