*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.
Kid-friendly flavored e-cigarettes are still widely available online and in stores, despite a federal judge’s ruling that should have pulled the products off store shelves by September 2021, a new report shows.
The judge’s ruling follows on U.S. Food and Drug Administration action that is nearly two years old.
Citing risks to vulnerable children, the FDA first announced in January 2020 that “companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution, and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes [other than tobacco or menthol] within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions.”
That was then, this is now, critics say.
Today, more than 100 flavored vaping products with enticing flavors like Gummy Bear, Funnel Cake, Fruit Punch, Berry Crunch Cereal, and Blueberry Lemonade are still sold through the five top online e-cigarette retailers, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids report found.
Flavored vapes also were widely available in convenience stores and gas stations located in eight cities across the country, the report added.
A federal court had set a deadline of Sept. 9, 2021, for e-cigarette manufacturers to either get U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for their products or face having them pulled from the market.
Unauthorized e-cigarette products remain on the market months past that deadline, even though they are subject to FDA enforcement action, the report found.
Sales of disposable e-cigarettes increased by nearly 250% between February 2020 and September 2021, rising from 2.8 million units to 9.6 million units, according to recent sales tracking reported by the CDC Foundation.
Four out of five disposable e-cigarettes sold come in flavors other than tobacco, mint, and menthol, the CDC Foundation noted.