63°F
weather icon Clear

FDA flavor ban seen as having little impact on Nevada vaping scene

The federal ban announced Thursday on fruit and mint flavored e-cigarette cartridges will have little impact on Nevada vape shops because it exempts most of the products they sell, an industry spokesman said.

Not surprisingly, state and local public health authorities maintain the ban doesn’t go far enough.

The ban focuses on e-cigarette cartridges, the type of product sold by industry leader Juul, which in the face of criticism already had stopped selling the flavors that are now prohibited.

“This cartridge flavor ban will have a limited effect on vape shops in Nevada who sell mainly non-cartridge systems,” said Alex Mazzola, president of the Nevada Vaping Association. “Consumers will continue to be able to find most of the products they have come to expect in vapes shop across the state.”

The Trump administration announced that it will prohibit fruit, candy, mint and dessert flavors from cartridges to curb the growing use by teens of e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that deliver an aerosol by heating a liquid that can contain nicotine, flavoring and other substances.

But menthol and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes will be allowed to remain on the market.

‘E-liquid’ exemption

The ban exempts “e-liquid” products for the large, tank-based vaping devices sold in vape shops, which cater to adults. The cartridge products favored by teens typically are sold in convenience stores. Last month, the legal age for purchasing e-cigarette products was raised to 21 nationwide.

“If the intent of the ban was to reduce youth usage, then eliminating all favors including mint and menthol in all forms of tobacco including electronic vaping products would have been ideal and most effective,” said Malcolm Ahlo, tobacco prevention and control coordinator for the Southern Nevada Health District.

“We’ll be working closely with local community leaders and our student teen tobacco prevention and control groups to see if there’s anything we can do locally to strengthen the current ban, like other states have done,” he said.

The gold standard of regulation, he said, can be found in Massachusetts, which has banned all flavored tobacco products, including menthol and mint, in both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

“The FDA ban on some flavored e-cigarettes seems to be a step in the right direction to curb the use of e-cigarettes by youth and young adults, but more work needs to be done,” said Dr. Ihsan Azzam, chief medical officer for the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 16 percent of Nevada adults ages 18 to 24 report using e-cigarettes, according to the national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, he said.

“The Division of Public and Behavioral Health will keep a close watch on the situation by continuing to monitor and investigate all vaping-related lung injury cases that occur in Nevada,” he said.

Six lung injury cases in Clark County

There have been six confirmed cases of severe lung related injury related to vaping in Clark County as part of a recent outbreak. Nationwide, there have been more than 2,500 cases and 55 deaths, none of them in Nevada, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most of the patients involved in the outbreak said they had vaped products containing THC, the ingredient that creates the high in marijuana. The investigation into the cause of the lung injury is focused on THC cartridges purchased on the black market. It also has zeroed in on vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent added to some THC vaping liquids, as a “chemical of concern.”

Products with THC can be purchased not in vape shops but in marijuana dispensaries or on the black market.

“All we say is that people shouldn’t be vaping anything,” Ahlo said. “The only thing that should be going into your lungs is clean air.”

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
2020 candidates rally in Southern Nevada ahead of caucus - VIDEO
2020 candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders held rallies all over Southern Nevada on Saturday ahead of the Democratic caucus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
First day of early voting - VIDEO
Nevada Democrats turned out in force on Saturday for the first day of early voting in the Democratic presidential caucuses.
Biden and Sully Sullenberger speak in Henderson - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and famed pilot Sully Sullenberger spoke at Sun City MacDonald Ranch to get out the vote for early voting for the Nevada caucus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Poll: Bernie Sanders leads Democratic presidential candidates - VIDEO
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the presidential field by a solid margin among likely Democratic caucus-goers heading into Nevada’s four-day early voting period, with with 25 percent of respondents expressing support. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Poll: caucus vs. primary - VIDEO
A new Nevada Poll finds two-thirds of likely Democratic caucus-goers surveyed in a Review-Journal poll say they’d like to see Nevada replace its caucuses with a secret-ballot primary election to determine support for a presidential nominee. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus events Leading up to Caucus Day 2020 - VIDEOl
As presidential candidates make their way to Las Vegas, here's a look at events, dates and times for the days leading up to Nevada's Caucus Day 2020 on Feb. 22. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus and Early Voting - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus discussion with Steve Sebelius about the Nevada Caucus and early voting.
Caucus 101: Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucus - VIDEO
The who, what, when, where and hows of early voting before and on caucus day in Nevada. (Renee Summerour and Bizuayehu Tesfaye /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus Discussion with Steve Sebelius. Join us as we discuss the Nevada Caucus process.
Dina Titus speaks on Biden and Nevada's importance - VIDEO
Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus sat down with political reporter Rory Appleton to discuss Joe Biden and Nevada's place in the 2020 election.
Las Vegas ready to enforce homeless camping ban - VIDEO
Las Vegas police will begin enforcing a controversial camping ban on city streets on Saturday, but officials say they expect to impose the penalties available under the new ordinance only in rare instances. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Caucus 101: How to caucus - VIDEO
How does the caucus work in Nevada? Shelby Wiltz, the caucus director for the Nevada State Democratic party takes us through the process. (Renee Summerour and James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump administration OKs new water rule - VIDEO
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a new rule Thursday replacing a 2015 definition of “navigable waters” created in the Obama administration that farmers, developers and others found overly restrictive. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yvanna Cancela Speaks on Supporting Biden - Video
The RJ Politics podcast crew sits down with Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss why she is supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST