E-cigs using synthetic nicotine come under FDA oversight | Health and Fitness

By MATTHEW PERRONE – AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators will soon begin cracking down on vaping companies using a now-closed loophole, including a line of fruit-flavored e-cigarettes that have become the first choice of the teenagers.

Under a law that took effect Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration can regulate e-cigarettes and similar products that use synthetic nicotine.

The action targets Puff Bar and several other vaping companies that recently switched their formulas to lab-made nicotine to avoid FDA oversight.

The change “allows the FDA to protect public health from harm from tobacco products, regardless of the source of nicotine,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday. Companies must register with the FDA and submit their products for review within 30 days.

Puff Bar did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The FDA action does not automatically ban Puff Bar and similar products. Instead, it puts them under the same regulatory scheme as older e-cigarettes that derive their nicotine from tobacco.

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“Synthetic nicotine products don’t necessarily go away on their own,” said Robin Koval, executive director of the Truth Initiative, an advocacy group that runs anti-tobacco ads. “The FDA will have to decide how it wants to enforce the law, and hopefully it will.”

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