NYC Sues Flavored Online E-Cigarette Sellers

Oct. 10, 2019 — Twenty-two online sellers of flavored e-cigarettes are being sued by New York City for allegedly targeting young people through social media.

The defendants created “a public nuisance” by selling e-cigarettes to people under 21 even though such sales have been illegal in the city since 2013, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, CNN reported.

“Preying on minors and hooking them on a potentially lethal, lifelong nicotine addiction is unconscionable,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This lawsuit sends a message: we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids and the health of our city.”

Nationwide, state and local governments have taken action to limit children’s access to e-cigarettes, CNN reported.

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WebMD Health

Teen Use of Flavored E-Cigarettes Keeps Rising

THURSDAY, Oct. 3, 2019 — Coming on the heels of recent U.S. federal and state efforts to ban flavored e-cigarettes, a new report finds the percentage of American teenagers who’ve used these products continues to climb.

According to 2018 data, nearly 2.4 million middle and high school teens say they have used a flavored e-cigarette at least once over the past 30 days.

Among teens, “e-cigarettes were the most commonly used flavored tobacco product in 2018; flavored e-cigarette use has increased in recent years,” according to researchers led by Karen Cullen. She’s from the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In fact, almost two-thirds (about 65%) of the nearly 5 million teenagers who used some form of tobacco product in 2018 said they had used a flavored e-cigarette over the past month. The figures come from annual National Youth Tobacco Surveys.

Experts in lung health said the numbers are troubling, because any nicotine-containing product that comes in fruit, candy or other flavors can be a gateway to lifelong addiction.

“In order to make vaping more enticing, flavors have been introduced into the manufacturing of both commercial brands and black market products,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Young people are attracted to the flavorings, but as they get older, they add other substances like nicotine and THC,” he added. THC is the chemical in marijuana that provides a high.

And there’s an even more frightening issue emerging — cases of serious lung injury linked to vaping. According to the latest figures, more than 800 such cases have occurred this year across the United States, including up to 17 deaths.

The exact cause of the illness is unclear, but diacetyl, often used in flavored vapes, has been “implicated now in the pulmonary syndromes,” Horovitz noted.

Responding to the epidemic of youth vaping and the recent spate of vaping-linked lung injury, federal and state governments are moving to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

On the national level, the situation has spurred the Trump administration to call for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

And on Tuesday, Los Angeles County banned flavored forms of e-cigarettes — echoing a move made recently by Michigan and the state of New York. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called for similar legislation in his state on Tuesday, and last week retail giant Walmart announced that it would pull all e-cigarette products from its shelves.

Cullen and her colleagues believe such efforts can help. They point out that after New York City initiated an almost total ban on the sale of many flavored cigars and “chew” products in 2009, cigar sales dropped by 12%, even as sales rose elsewhere in the nation.

Another lung health specialist agreed that something must be done to spare kids a lifetime of addiction to nicotine.

“Many youth admit that flavored e-cigarettes are the major reason they started vaping,” said Dr. Mina Makaryus, a pulmonary specialist at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

“Given the addictive nature of nicotine, these youth are now addicted to nicotine at a very young age, and they are more likely to continue using e-cigarettes and even start smoking regular combustion cigarettes in the future,” he said.

Makaryus hopes that “more states will start to ban flavored e-cigarettes. There also needs to be increased FDA regulation of e-cigarettes, including their marketing and targeting of underage youth.”

The new study is published in the Oct. 4 issue of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about vaping and lung health.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019 – Daily MedNews

New York State First to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

Sept. 18, 2019 — Using his executive powers, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is banning flavored e-cigarettes in the state.

The ban goes into effect immediately and makes New York the first state to institute such a regulation. Michigan will ban some these products, but how the ban is to be structured hasn’t been finalized, according to the Associated Press.

The Public Health and Health Planning Council voted to ban all flavored vaping products except menthol and tobacco flavors.

Stores have two weeks to clear their shelves of these products.

The ban is a reaction to the popularity of flavored e-cigarettes among teens. The state health department says the nearly 40% of high school seniors and 27% of high school students in the state use e-cigarettes, the AP reports.

The ban lasts 90 days and will have to be reinstated if the legislature hasn’t passed bill to permanently ban these products.

The New York legislation comes in the midst of an outbreak of vaping-linked lung illnesses across multiple states. This week, a California man became the seventh person reported to die from a virulent lung illness brought on by using e-cigarettes.

This 40-year-old is the second to die in California and is added to other fatalities from Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oregon, CNN reported.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so far 380 people in 36 states have come down with the vaping-related lung sickness. On Monday, the agency activated an Emergency Operations Center to investigate these illnes

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WebMD Health

White House Moves to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

Sept. 12, 2019 — The Trump administration will ask that the FDA ban non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes from the market.

The news came amid growing concern over the six deaths and 450 possible cases of lung illness linked with the use of e-cigarette products. But many of those cases appear to be linked to THC cartridges.

The FDA has long been concerned about the increasing use of flavored e-cigarettes by teens and young adults.

Early numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show that e-cigarette use, especially of non-tobacco flavors that appeal to kids, continues to rise. More than a quarter of high school students report the use of e-cigarettes in 2019, with most favoring fruit, menthol, or mint flavors.

“This is an important step in response to the epidemic of e-cigarette use among our nation’s youth, and will help protect them from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, said in a statement.

Many others agreed, including public health advocates and e-cigarette maker and market leader JUUL.

“We strongly agree with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products,” Ted Kwong, a spokesman for JUUL, said in a statement.

A day before President Trump’s announcement, the FDA warned the company that it was using false advertising targeting students and others to claim e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes.

‘An Important First Step’

The FDA is already preparing a new policy, and details of it are expected soon.

“I want to see the plan implemented immediately,” says Matthew Wellington, campaign director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s End the Nicotine Trap, adding that he hopes “the FDA doesn’t drag its feet in accomplishing that goal.”

He suggests that the FDA should also “ban all other flavored tobacco products, cigarettes, and cigars, because flavors appeal to kids. I think the FDA has dragged its feet historically on decisions like this. They should have done this years ago.”

In a statement, Wellington adds: “Research also suggests that young people who use e-cigarettes are three times more likely to start smoking combustible cigarettes.”

Pulling flavored e-cigarettes off the market ”would not fully address the problem of the recent lung illness associated with vaping THC,” Wellington says.

Hooked on Flavors

“We are thrilled today that … the FDA is going to use its authority to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market,” says Meredith Berkman, a co-founder of Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes, an organization formed a year ago by three mothers.

“We have known for a long time that the flavors have hooked our kids on these products,” she says. “This isn’t going to solve the existing problem we have now — millions of kids addicted to nicotine — but hopefully this will slow the huge rate of growth of youth use of e-cigarettes.”

She blames e-cigarettes for that widespread exposure to nicotine among teens. “This is a generation of kids that would otherwise not be initiated into tobacco use,” Berkman says. Fewer teens had been smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products before the e-cigarette trend took hold.

Industry Response

In November 2018, JUUL suspended the distribution of non-tobacco and non-menthol-based flavored JUUL pods to its more than 90,000 traditional retail store partners, but kept them available online through an age-gated channel.

Trade group Vapor Technology Association calls the idea of a ban misguided. Vapor products help adults quit smoking, and “banning flavors would be a public health travesty,” Executive Director Tony Abboud says in a statement.

The association says a flavor ban would force more than 10 million adults to choose between smoking again or finding what they need and want on the black market.

Black market cartridges have been implicated in the cases of vaping-related lung illnesses that have been surging across the country. While public health officials have not determined what product or ingredient is behind the cases, many of them involved THC.

“We urge this administration to change course before millions of Americans are forced to switch back to deadly cigarettes,” the association says, adding the policy change would result in many small businesses closing their doors and numerous layoffs.


Statement, CDC, Sept.11, 2019.

CDC: “Outbreak of Lung Illness Associated with Using E-cigarette Products.”

News release, FDA, Sept. 11, 2019.

Statement, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Sept. 11, 2019.

Ted Kwong, spokesman, JUUL Labs.

News release, JUUL, Aug. 29, 2019.

Statement, Vapor Technology Association, Sept. 11, 2019.

Megan Arendt, spokesperson, Action on Smoking & Health.

Meredith Berkman, co-founder, Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes.

Matthew Wellington, spokesman, U.S. PIRG.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: statement, Sept. 11, 2019

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Juul Withdraws Most Flavored E-Cigs From Market

By E.J. Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Juul Labs, which commands 70 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market, announced Tuesday that it would cease selling most flavored versions of its popular vaping pods in retail stores.

The company said it would also terminate its social media productions related to the flavored products.

The announcement comes after increasing pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other critics, alarmed by the surging popularity among the young of the addictive, nicotine-laden devices.

Earlier in November, media reports suggested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would soon ban sales of most flavored electronic cigarettes in retail stores and gas stations across the United States. That plan was expected to be announced later this week, The New York Times reported.

Juul’s move on Tuesday appears to pre-empt that. It comes after the FDA conducted a raid on its headquarters in October, seeking documents suggesting the company aimed marketing directing at the young. Some states have initiated similar investigations, the Times said.

Kevin Burns is chief executive of San Francisco-based Juul. In a statement sent to media he said that, “Our intent was never to have youth use Juul. But intent is not enough. The numbers are what matter and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarettes is a problem.”

Juul is not ceasing sale of all flavored products: According to the Times, the company is stopping retail orders for mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavors, but not menthol, mint and tobacco flavors. Those products would still be sold at retail outlets that have invested in age-verification technology, Juul said.

The company said it was shutting down Facebook and Instagram accounts in the United States that promoted the use of the flavored devices.

The FDA has long sought to reduce teens‘ use of flavored e-cigarettes, thought to be especially alluring to young people who then become hooked on nicotine. The agency was also pressing for age-verification measures for online sales to prevent minors from buying the flavor pods.


Juul came under special scrutiny because the devices are easily used surreptitiously by teens. The pods resemble small computer flash drives, so students were using them in class as soon as teachers’ backs were turned.

There were real health concerns tied to the products, however.

“I think that there’s a perception that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative for kids,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a recent interview with the Times. “But it can lead to a lifelong addiction, and some percentage will migrate to combustible products.”

So, “in order to close the on ramp to e-cigarettes for kids, we have to put in place some speed bumps for adults,” Gottlieb said, referring to efforts such as the proposed ban.

The FDA first began its crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes earlier this year, as the number of teens using the products reached epidemic proportions. Use of Juul and other vaping devices has skyrocketed among teens over the past year, with more than 3 million middle and high school students now thought to use the products, according to unpublished government data.

Flavored versions of e-cigarettes — including chicken and waffles, rocket Popsicle and “unicorn milk” — have boosted sales among the young even further, experts contend.

“The availability of flavors in e-cigarettes is one of the top reasons that middle and high school students cite as their motivation for using e-cigarettes,” said Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. “Young people are more likely to try flavored e-cigarettes and consider them less harmful than tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes.”

Responding to the trend, the FDA recently warned several e-cigarette makers to stop marketing to teenagers or risk being banned. Major companies were given 60 days to prove they could keep their devices away from minors, and the deadline is this weekend. Companies involved include Juul, RJR Vapor Co.’s Vuse, Imperial Brands’ blu and devices made by Logic.

The FDA also warned 1,100 retailers to stop selling e-cigarettes to minors and fined some of them, the Times reported.

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WebMD Health

O.penVape Releases New Line of Flavored Distillate Cartridges

One of Colorado’s largest hash manufacturers has added another product to its lineup. O.penVape, known for its pre-filled vaporizers cartridges, has rolled out ISH pens, a new line of distillate products geared toward novice cannabis consumers.

The pre-filled distillate cartridges come in Bavarian cream, blue raspberry and watermelon flavors. Similar to Evolab’s fruit-flavored vape pens released in July, the ISH pens aren’t flavored with terpenes or flavors associated with cannabis, instead focusing on sweet and fruit flavors from artificially and natural flavoring. However, unlike the Evolab pens, which are made with CO2 hash oil, the ISH line is made with distillate, a concentrate made by distilling solvent-run concentrates like wax and shatter into purer, more potent THC.

O.penVape isn’t new to the distillate world: Its Craft Reserve cartridges, released on the retail market in 2016, carry distillate with cannabis terpenes reintroduced for flavor. But with the ISH pens, O.penVape is targeting palates that appreciate dessert more than dank.

“We had lots of feedback that people wanted a flavored cartridge, as it appeals to a totally different market than say, the Craft Reserve,” says Chris Driessen, president of O.PenVape’s parent comany, Organa Brands. “Plus, the addition of flavoring sets it apart in this category. The customer is someone who is perhaps not a strain aficionado — someone looking for rich flavor, without a strong marijuana taste.

“I didn’t know how much I would love these flavors until I tried them, but once I did, I was really impressed with the work of our R&D team,” adds Driessen. “It’s not your typical cartridge, and is definitely a refreshing take on flavored distillate.”

The ISH line debuted in dispensaries last week and is available at most O.penVape retailers, a list of which you can find on the ISH webpage. Its suggested retail price is around $ 20 for 250-milligram cartridges, and $ 30 for 500-milligram cartridges, according to Organa Brands.

Toke of the Town

Flavored E-Cigarettes May Entice Teens to Smoke: Study

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 — Fruit- or candy-flavored electronic cigarettes may entice American teens to start smoking tobacco, a new study suggests.

Using data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City found that among middle school and high school students who had never smoked, 58 percent who used flavored e-cigarettes said they intended to start smoking tobacco cigarettes.

“Due to a proliferation of e-cigarette flavors on the market, flavored e-cigarette use among youth in the U.S. has increased significantly,” study author Hongying Dai said. She’s an associate professor of health services and outcomes at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

“The majority of youth who have ever used e-cigarettes started with a flavored product,” Dai added.

Flavored e-cigarettes aren’t prohibited in the United States. More than 460 brands and 7,700 flavors are currently on the market. The number of teens who use e-cigarette devices to “vape” has nearly quadrupled since 2013, Dai said.

The recent rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulating e-cigarettes excluded the agency from regulating flavors in these products. This provision was deleted from the original FDA proposal by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

“Flavored e-cigarette use among youth might serve as a gateway for future smoking and was associated with decreased odds of quitting smoking,” Dai said. “Comprehensive tobacco control and prevention strategies that address flavored e-cigarette products are critically needed to reduce tobacco use among youth.”

Among nearly 16,500 teens who had never smoked cigarettes but used e-cigarettes, Dai’s team looked at whether or not they intended to begin smoking tobacco cigarettes. The researchers also looked at more than 1,300 current smokers and assessed if they intended to quit. Finally, the investigators looked at nearly 21,500 teens to assess their perception of the dangers of tobacco.

The study found that just over 2,000 teens said they had used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days. Of these, 61 percent said they had used flavored e-cigarettes. Among those who had never smoked traditional tobacco, 56 percent of e-cigarette users said they had used flavored e-cigarettes. Among current tobacco smokers, 68 percent of those who also “vaped” said they had used flavored e-cigarettes.

A majority of kids who used flavored e-cigarettes but had never smoked tobacco said they were likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes in the future. In addition, tobacco smokers who also used e-cigarettes said they were less likely to quit smoking. Moreover, e-cigarette use was associated with a lower perception of the harmful effects of tobacco, Dai said.

A spokesman for the e-cigarette industry didn’t address these findings directly. Instead, he took issue with the study’s design.

“In this study, any teen who answered ‘probably not’ when asked if he or she thought they would smoke a cigarette in the next year was marked as ‘intending to smoke,’ ” said Gregory Conley, a spokesman for the American Vaping Association.

Only a small number of participants answered “definitely” to the cigarette smoking question, Conley said. “So in order to give themselves statistical power, the researchers enlarge the category to include ‘probably not,’ ” he said.

“This is a classic example of the peer-review process failing and the public being worse off as a result,” he said.

At least one expert on smoking issues disagreed with Conley’s assessment of the new research.

“This is an important paper that shows how e-cigarette flavors are expanding the tobacco epidemic, particularly their important role in stimulating youth use of e-cigs and progression to smoking conventional cigarettes,” said Stanton Glantz. He’s a professor of tobacco control at the University of California, San Francisco.

Even if kids don’t start smoking conventional cigarettes, expanding the use of e-cigarettes among kids is itself dangerous, Glantz said.

“This reality makes the fact that the Obama White House dropped regulation of flavors, which especially appeal to kids, from the FDA’s recent rule taking jurisdiction over e-cigarettes worrisome,” Glantz said. “The effect of this deletion will delay regulation of flavors in e-cigarettes by years, leading more kids to get addicted to nicotine,” he said.

The new report was published online Nov. 7 in the journal Pediatrics.

More information

For more on e-cigarettes, visit the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Posted: November 2016

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Lung-Irritating Chemical Found in Flavored E-Cigs

Highest levels seen in cherry versions, but levels still far below federal safety standards

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) — People using flavored e-cigarettes, particularly ones that taste like cherry, are likely inhaling a chemical that can irritate their airways, a new study suggests.

“It might be the case that if the user of an electronic cigarette experiences some side effects, like coughing, it might be attributed to the flavorings,” since the chemical benzaldehyde was detected in 108 of the 145 flavored cigarettes tested in the study, said senior author Maciej Goniewicz. He is an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

Benzaldehyde is a widely used flavoring agent found in foods as well as medicines, such as cough syrup, Goniewicz said. It can taste like cherries or almonds.

“It’s safe when we eat it, or when we apply it to our skin, but inhalation is a completely different mode of exposure,” Goniewicz explained.

Benzaldehyde can irritate the airways when inhaled, and vapor from the chemical also can irritate the eyes, he said.

However, the researchers also noted that the estimated daily inhaled dose of benzaldehyde from even cherry flavored e-cigarettes was more than 1,000 times lower than the maximum workplace exposure level set by federal regulators.

And the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, an e-cigarette industry group, said in a statement that these findings prove e-cigs are a better alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.

“Let’s not lose sight that vaping presents substantially less risk than combustion cigarettes, which expose smokers to over 7,000 chemicals including more than 60 known or suspected carcinogens,” the statement said. “This research shows that even with cherry e-cigs, it would take three years of vaping to reach the 8-hour work shift permissible occupational exposure limit.”

But Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association, said the study really shows the need for proper regulation of e-cigarettes.

“To me, it’s another piece of evidence that we don’t know what’s in those things,” Edelman said. “It’s terribly important that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration use its power to regulate them. The first thing they can do is find out what is in them.”

WebMD Health

Kids Drawn to ‘Gateway’ Flavored Tobacco: FDA

Sweet-tasting additives have widespread appeal, expose teens to nicotine

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Candy, fruit and other flavorings are hooking America’s next generation of nicotine addicts, a new U.S. government study finds.

Among kids aged 12 to 17 who had used tobacco, four out of five said the first product they tried was flavored, whether it was hookah, e-cigarettes, little cigars or smokeless tobacco, U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers found.

In addition, most current teen tobacco users said that they had indulged in a flavored tobacco product within the past 30 days, according to findings published Oct. 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“This confirms our worst fears,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association. “Young people are being hooked on tobacco products through the use of flavoring that appeals to them. When you see flavorings like bubble gum in a tobacco product, it’s obvious who they’re appealing to.”

Although flavors other than menthol are prohibited in cigarettes in the United States, flavored non-cigarette tobacco products are widely available and may appeal to youth, according to background information in the article.

In the study, researchers at the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products examined flavored tobacco use among kids using data from the 2013-2014 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, a nationally representative survey that included 13,651 U.S. teens.

The survey revealed that about 21 percent had used tobacco. About 81 percent of these teens said the first tobacco product they ever tried had been flavored to taste of menthol, mint, clove, spice, candy, fruit, chocolate or some other sweet flavor.

In addition, about 80 percent of kids who’d used tobacco over the past 30 days said they had used a flavored product, the FDA researchers found.

Kids who said they use tobacco “because they come in flavors I like” include about four out of five e-cigarette users and hookah users; nearly three-quarters of cigar users; and more than two-thirds of smokeless tobacco users.

“Flavored tobacco products have become increasingly common in the United States and are especially attractive to youth,” said FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum. “As such, the FDA is particularly interested in monitoring and assessing the use of flavored tobacco products among youth.”

WebMD Health

See your favorite '80s icons remade as 8-bit flavored toys

As someone that lived through it, I can attest that many NES games based on 1980s action films were pretty terrible. 8-bit games like Robocop and Nightmare on Elm Street couldn’t compare to the unforgettable film counterparts–in fact, thanks to color limitations on the NES, the characters looked a shade or two off at all times. And yet, when a series of action figures are released that recreate the NES hues of those classic characters, I can’t resist the nostalgic pull to buy all of them.

Yes, there is a set of toys celebrating ’80s film icons in warmly retro ways. Made by NECA, one of the top action figure creators around, these figures are enhanced editions of their line of classic film franchise toys. Each piece is painted to look like their 8-bit selves, no matter how glaring the color choice may be. That’s how you end up with a rather purple Robocop figure, an incredibly blue Predator, and a scarier looking than normal Freddy Krueger. These are in short supply (one of Jason Voorhees from Friday The 13th is particularly hard to find), but are well worth the search.

And if you like these, start saving up for the similarly retro variants of NES Batman and Robocop vs. Terminator for SNES that are coming soon. Check out these early looks at the figures straight from the show floor of San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Michael Keaton has never worn lavender better.

Do you have something really cool that you’d like to share with us? Let us know! Maybe we’ll even post it. Can email us at or find us on Twitter@gamesradar.

GamesRadar – Xbox News