CHARLOTTE, N.C. — JD Canty is the owner of Native Vapes just off South Tryon. He says the whole reason he started his business four years ago was to help people stop smoking cigarettes.
As the FDA zeroes in on the marketing of fruity vaping flavors, Canty hopes they don’t disappear from store shelves altogether.
“That’s part of the whole appeal,” Canty said. “For people who are trying to quit, they don’t have to taste the nastiness of cigarettes.”
Canty’s shop does sell fruity vape flavors, but he elects not to sell Juul products because they carry the stigma of “teen vaping”.
Juul gained a 76% share of the e-cig market by the end of 2018, according to Nielsen. The e-cig giant, along with other manufacturers, are under fire from the FDA for marketing their products toward teens.
“No child should ever use a vaping or e-cig product,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said. “It is that simple.”
The Trump administration and FDA have agreed to develop guidelines to remove flavored e-cigs from store shelves. Once those guidelines are rolled out, retailers will face a 30-day compliance period.
“At that point, all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market,” Azar said.
The ban comes amid an outbreak of serious respiratory illnesses tied to vaping. At least six people have died, and nearly 500 have gotten sick.
“It just seems kind of odd to me that it’s just popping up all of the sudden here within the past couple of months and vaping has been around for about 15 years,” Canty said.
The FDA says manufacturers could apply to have their flavored products re-enter the market, but must prove that they’re beneficial to the public.