Many retailers in the e-cigarette and vape industry expected to see a ban on online sales when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made it’s ruling back in 2016. The ban was not included in the final ruling.
That may not be the case anymore. FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, stated two weeks ago that the FDA was reviewing their position on e-liquid flavors. Yesterday morning, Gottlieb said that banning online sales is up for discussion.
During the News Shapers event hosted by Axios in Washington D.C., Gottlieb stated that the ban of E-cigarette online sales is “on the table” and that the FDA is “very clearly looking at it.”
The comments made by Gottlieb comes shortly after the recent crackdown on retailers and manufacturers selling products that they believe appeal to the youth. Such flavors include dessert or candy theme. The move to put an end to flavors and online retail is part of the FDA’s effort to reduce underage use of vape products.
Earlier this year, the FDA introduced the Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan as part of their efforts in keeping e-cigarettes and vape products away from underage users.
On September 12th, it was announced that the FDA issued 1,300 warning letters to retailers regarding sales to minors after undercover operations made by the agency. During the operation it was found that the majority of illegal sales were of the following products: VUSE, blue, JUUL, MarkTen XL and Logic. According to the FDA, these 5 products make up more than 97 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market.
The FDA also reached out to a number of manufacturers to ask how they plan on keeping vape products away from minors.
According to statista.com, U.S. e-cigarette sales are expected to reach $3.6 billion in 2018, an increase from $2.9 billion this previous year.
E-cigarettes only make up 0.7% of nicotine sales through all retail channels for 52 weeks to June 30, 2018 vs. the same period in 2017, according to the Management Science Associates of Pittsburgh, PA. The tobacco subcategory did grow the most in the same time period, though, at 31.7%.