A shakeout of e-cigarettes is at hand.
The Food and Drug Administration is approaching a deadline to decide which e-cigarettes can stay on the market in a series of decisions that have already started to reshape the industry.
The agency’s mandate is to authorize vaping products only if their manufacturers can demonstrate that they are in the interest of public health. The FDA must weigh, among other things, the potential welfare of adult cigarette smokers switching to a less harmful option against the potential harm of young people who become addicted to nicotine.
The process has already knocked some products off the market, and the agency has asked e-cigarette makers to expect tighter controls on how their products are marketed and sold. Some businesses can be completely closed. The FDA may also allow some sweet and fruity e-cigarette cartridges to be re-released after temporarily restricting flavored vaping products last year.
“We are working hard on reviewing applications to get out of some sort of unregulated Wild West market,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said at a congressional hearing in June. “We intend to use [our] authority to protect children and optimize public health.