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Experts say FDA's partial ban on flavored e-cigs still has loopholes

Friday, the FDA banned most fruit and mint cartridge-based vaping devices. It is one of the...
Friday, the FDA banned most fruit and mint cartridge-based vaping devices. It is one of the many ways to try and curb teen vaping. (File)(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 10:50 PM EST
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A nation-wide partial ban on flavored e-cigarettes is now in effect, but experts say it has a loophole. Teens are already finding a way through it.

People for and against vaping agree the ban is not the answer to this problem.

Friday, the FDA banned most fruit and mint cartridge-based vaping devices. It is one of the many ways to try and curb teen vaping.

Experts say it's not working.

"There's a rapid move by young people to the disposable devices," says Ben Chandler, CEO of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

The disposable e-cigs still carry a variety of flavors.

"It's a loophole that you could drive a truck through," says Chandler.

Chandler is concerned about the number of teens using e-cigs. He thinks the variety of flavors plays a part.

"Kids are very much attracted to flavors, and a lot of the flavors are made for that purpose, of attracting kids. There are flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy," Chandler says.

Robert Matheny, co-owner of KY CBD Farmacy, disagrees.

"They're not being marketed to children. None of this has even been marketed to children. That's just made up stuff to help curb what's actually happening," says Matheny.

Matheny says flavors serve another purpose.

"Think if you're trying to quit smoking cigarettes. They're horrible, they taste horrible, they're absolutely nasty, so you want to switch. Why wouldn't you want to switch to something that tastes just as bad," says Matheny.

One thing both sides agree on? The ban is useless, especially if teens can get access to flavors through disposable devices.

And when asked if the ban on flavors would make an impact?

"No, this ban on flavors is nothing more than just time in our government, time for the FDA, it's part of our economy," says Matheny.

Sales of tobacco and vaping products are prohibited to teens under the government's new age limit. It went from age 18 to 21 last year.