Teens Find a Big Loophole in the New Flavored Vaping Ban

The policy allows mint, dessert and fruit flavors to continue to be sold in disposable e-cigarettes, prompting many teens to switch from Juul to those devices.

Comments: 81

  1. What happened to teenage fads like the hula-hoop, goldfish eating, baseball card trading, or playing video games? Now the tobacco industry is getting them hooked on banana-flavored vape? What happened to chewing gum?

  2. @Jasphil Your post not only dates you, but do you really think teenagers weren't smoking in the 1950s? They were all perfect little hula-hooping angels? And "goldfish eating"? Is this really a fad we miss?

  3. @Jasphil Teens been smoking and drinking, forever. They will continue to FOREVER, you ban vapes they will go back to cigarettes. But no, lets ban the vape that might kill them, to go for cigs, that will kill them. And lets ban the vape flavors, because they attract kids, but cotton candy vodka, thats just A okay. Wake up people. The people wanting Vaping Banned, are the people that are making money from Cigarette industry.

  4. @Will Rothfuss Goldfish crackers are delicious! I don't see the problem there.

  5. This article ignores the elephant in the room. It is illegal for kids to buy vape products. Who is selling it to them? Instead of going after flavors, adults like prefer flavors other than "tobacco" too, why don't they spend this time, money, and energy going after the people selling to kids? And no, I don't vape or smoke. However I did smoke for about ten years, but I quit before vaping was a thing. I found a better drug which is not compatible with the first one, running.

  6. "Who is selling it to them?" The article says: "... a high school junior ... buys from other students. Costing between $7 and $10 per disposable e-cigarette, ..." Note the wide variation in prices in that quote. Thus, there is an underground economy with extensive reselling. As you suggest, the article fails to report the economics, but a legal adult could buy a lot of the product and resell singles at a huge markup.

  7. @Still Waiting... And yet we all know that by not selling it solves the problem of anyone new getting addicted. But how do we help those already in the grips of nicotine addiction? They will still find a way to get it if we don't solve the root problem.

  8. So much for the argument that flavored nicotine and tobacco products aren't any more attractive to kids. The so-called loophole is also evidence that they weren't serious about the law, only look as if they were.

  9. Where’s the ban on other fruit flavored adult products such as alcohol? What about Nicorette and NRT products? It’s already illegal for teens to buy this nicotine stuff, enforce the rules already there.

  10. FDA again underestimated the addictiveness of nicotine, especially in combination with flavors. First, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's decision to postpone e-cigarette regulation in 2017 unleashed the Juul addiction epidemic. Now FDA narrowly regulates Juul and other pod systems. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, a fact the FDA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that muzzled the agency do not comprehend. These kids will become older and legal users, perpetually funding a predatory industry.

  11. @Eric Sorkin I'm sure they DO comprehend, but the tobacco lobby's purse is even easier to understand...

  12. In this country we never let the health of our citizens, even teenagers, get in the way of illicit corporate profits. Never.

  13. @Markymark They are not illicit, but follow the absurd controlling tyrant laws of monopoly central planners who will lead free thinking to its death. This is why people are anxious, depressed and need warning labels that an stove or oven is hot. We need better people who learn from others mistakes, not more control that limits free thinking.

  14. @David - They are not illicit, When you profit from intentionally addicting people. When you profit from intentionally harming people. When you profit by gouging people for medicine far beyond it's cost to produce where their only is to suffer and/or die, than yes, I would call those profits illicit. They are the king of profits that we annually bemoan about with telling of Christmas stories but go right back to doing come Sec 26.

  15. Is anyone surprised? This is the Trump administration. Loopholes enabling the corporate bottom line will always be baked into regulations.

  16. As an 80 yo exsmoker, who didnt quit til I was 62 with bronchitis and could not smoke, and now walk slowly with an oxygen canister, I suggest making ecigarets an Rx item, only available in drug stores. NOW!

  17. @caharper Terrible idea for smokers.

  18. You can’t stop kids (or anyone else for that matter) from smoking meth, shooting heroin, snorting coke or even drinking too much soda. Remember what they were doing with Tide pods? It’s the human condition. If kids want to slowly kill themselves, they’ll do it. Just like adults.

  19. @EP And the smarter ones learn from the errors of other people's ways. Imagine that, getting better over time instead of being controlled by monopoly government powers. Nature includes death for a reason...to improve via natural selection our survival in a changing environment, whereas central planners want us to live in a time that never changes and keeps them controlling everything you do or think or say.

  20. Prohibition doesn't work for any product or any age. The idea that governments can stay ahead of high school kids determined to vape is ludicrous. They're 20 steps ahead of them all the time. It's a challenge, it's fun. Focus on education and treatment. Realizing teenagers have engaged in risky behavior for as long as they've existed. I sure did.

  21. @Lou Good - Prohibition doesn't work What was the need to invent vaping in the first place? If it was, as is claimed, to help people off tobacco it would have been sold as a medical device like nicotine gum or patches not as an recreational product with cool packaging. No. The reason was to make money by providing a way to mainline a highly addictive substance and hook a generation that was tending away from cigarettes.

  22. "Prohibition doesn't work for any product or any age." In the old Prohibition's days, perhaps. Now we have cameras, creepy speakers, face recognizers, and even thermal imagers literally EVERYWHERE. If we're to allow such wildly unconstitutional tech around us without a full-on camera-bashing riot, we may as well put them—and the quota-happy cops who check them—to good use.

  23. @Marie - actually, Big Pharma has a vape product, of course. They'll sell it for 50x the price of Juul, and probably demand a prescription requiring overinflated-cost doctor visit. Juul is a clean, discreet way that at 58, I'm able to keep the damn monkey Big Tobacco dumped on me at age 13 Off My Back. Couple of hits a day, 5 pounds less crazy chemical intake not to mention noxious stink. Juul, PLEASE PLEASE find a way to give me back my mint. Menthol is thinly veiled nasty tobacco flavor, reminding me of my ruined youth.

  24. So the ban is not really a ban at all and did nothing but put a dent in Juul's bottom line. What a joke.

  25. @Will Rothfuss Exactly. Like a lot things in Washington lately, this so-called ban is not what it appears to be.

  26. Not only is it not truly a ban, it was most likely a move by Altria to damage Juul (who they own) and try to get more people onto the real cancer sticks again.

  27. Besides the problems mentioned in the article and comments, I assume 'disposable' means the empty devices end up in landfill. Terrific... Altho I assume Juul had some parts that were disposable, or at least, disposed of. In the streets, etc...

  28. I just saw one on the ground a few minutes ago and expect that to be common, unfortunately.

  29. @Dan The pods for the JUUL devices are disposable, but are able to be recycled like other e-waste in many places.

  30. I live in Quebec where the government just stopped allowing cannabis to be possessed legally by adults from 18-21. Eighteen has been the age of majority for a long time but we listen to the experts whether they be economists, scientists or medical researchers. That is why we invest so much in education, sometimes common sense takes precedence over rights and privileges, and even constitutions. We overwhelmingly support the legalization of marijuana but when the medical researchers told us of the danger to those under 21 we had no qualms about denying legal cannabis to adults between 18 and 21. Cynicism killed American democracy. Two million Irish peasants died or were deported because Ireland's absentee lands demanded the poor not be fed. Letting our future die because the purveyors of vaping materials must be allowed to make a profit has made America very rich but so very poor.

  31. @Montreal Moe No, free thinking always produces better outcomes than central control. Monopoly doesn't perform better than competition. Bad ideas should be shown to be bad ideas, not blocked out of fear that others may be making bad ideas. You cannot learn if you remove mistakes, nor can you have progress if limited to just the ideas of others telling you want to do.

  32. @Montreal Moe The human brain doesn't generally fully develop until age 25 or so. Why not raise the age to that?

  33. @David Unfortunately, at age 13 children want to do almost everything they are forbidden to do, and we must make it very difficult for them to do so. Dont you remember?

  34. Funny, I just figured someone was selling flavors separately and they'd just add them to their refillable cartridges. People can think, and so stop the tyranny and let people live the way they choose. Some will die, just as some die climbing mountains or skydiving or skiing or jogging. Label them so people are informed, but then let them live. That is the real American way before we became children of the state, unable to decide for ourselves, dependent on the approval of central planners.

  35. Yet again, in addition to the health issues that aren't really being addressed, our government drives the use of disposable items that end up in landfills, increasing e-waste that leeches harmful chemicals (since these are electronic devices with batteries). We should be promoting the use of rechargeable and re-usable devices. Provide any loophole at all and it'll be exploited. Change the rules. Close the loopholes, lessen the health danger, and stop the disgusting encouraging of a disposable culture. Trashy, pun intended.

  36. That’s what you get when capitalism gets wild. You make laws as screen smoke for the public and leave loopholes dictated by lobbies so that nothing would change.

  37. Who pays for vaping? We do. If they are hospitalized. The parents pay the children whoever is around. It indicates breathing problems and may be dead. And death does occur. If the president states it is illegal. It is illegal if the FDA states it is illegal. It is illegal. Caution when you smoke. Take your risks? But why should all of us have to suffer because you want to. That’s OK But why all of us have to Suffer? I don’t want to suffer for your in confidence because there is a right and a wrong. Your decision. Not mine. Today we have to worry above parvovirus? And I have to worry about you making a decision to vape!

  38. So... what all of the small business owners told everyone when the administration first started this hysteria was accurate. The corporations found a new loophole, the kids found a new product, and thousands of people are out of work and/or back on cigarettes. I used ecigarettes to get myself from smoking a pack and a half a day to completely nicotine free over the course of two and a half years. I was able to do that because the vape juice on the market at that time had a sliding scale of nicotine content, and the flavors got progressively better as the nicotine content lowered. Juuls, when they hit the market, had 3-5x more nicotine than the highest nicotine content vape juice. These disposables have even more nicotine in them. Of course they're feeding the addiction. The comments from "Bennett" are absolutely ridiculous and perfectly capture what it's like to be in high school-- these kids are too young to remember catching classmates smoking cigarettes in the locker rooms, in their cars at lunch, and in the bathrooms with broken smoke alarms, so they blame the flavors. It isn't the flavors. Nicotine and tobacco are extremely addictive, particularly if you're under a lot of stress when you first try them. My entire high school reeked of cigarette smoke every year during APs. A final thought, Senator Merkley: any administration that was serious about protecting children from addiction would get out of the pharmaceutical companies' bed.

  39. Whatever else is bad about vaping, new research shows that the flavorings are carcinogenic when burned. I thought this was why they were banned.

  40. @Doug Lowenthal Everything is carcinogenic when burned. Its called vaping and not smoking for a reason.

  41. Banning commercially made products will not end vaping. Kids (and others) will simply cook up their recipes from scratch. Not hard to do, but yet much more dangerous. Vaping products, cigarettes and alcohol already require you to b 21 to purchase, yet many find a way around this legal aspect. Prohibition never works. It's called parenting. If you are aware that your child is smoking, drinking or vaping, YOU need to put a stop to it. Government is not the answer.

  42. In all the hysteria surrounding teen vaping, I’ve seen very little about the role played by the parents who enable it. With teen employment trending downwards, one can only assume parents are supplying the money to sustain such an expensive habit.

  43. How is encouraging nicotine addiction in the public interest? Is it covered by that beautiful health insurance Trump brought us? Which law makers are the major recipients of donations from the industry?

  44. Finally an NYT article on e-tobacco vaping that didn’t try to mislead the public by mentioning the dozens of death related to bootleg marijuana cigarettes. Thank you.

  45. Why is the government even banning these e-cigarettes? Because parents aren’t doing their job so their children are smoking illegally? Punishing all adults because of children? Reminds me of kindergarten when the teacher punished the whole class for one student’s misbehavior. It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. To say nothing of the fact that when you tell someone they can’t have something, they want it even more. What a waste of time.

  46. Why would anyone want to vaporize nicotine, when these things can be used for DMT instead? That stuff will make you reevaluate your addictions real quick. Also, the Universe.

  47. Loopholes, always loopholes are to be found. What were they thinking, loopholes wouldn't be found and exploited? Ridiculous

  48. Hooking people on life on nicotine is not "hysteria". Only those who financially benefit, or addicts want to make sure their addictions aren't threatened would ridicule the addictions of millions of Americans young and old to a substance that enslaves them both physically and financially. I have seen the ravages of addiction on my family. It is not hysteria. Nor is dying.

  49. So they really didn't ban anything... more pulling the wool over our eyes by this administration.

  50. The argument often heard is "I should be allowed to decide to do x" where x is a high-risk unhealthful behavior like smoking, vaping, riding a bike with no helmet, etc. You want your freedom to make bad choices but when you get sick or injured because of it then you expect the rest of us to pay for it with our insurance. That infringes on MY FREEDOM. Time to close this loophole and put these risk takers in their own insurance pool and let THEM pay for it.

  51. There is ample evidence to suggest bike helmets lead to more fatalities not less.

  52. @Matt Foley I agree 100% with you.

  53. @Matt Foley it's other way around.... Your property taxes are subsidized by smokers. Vape kills smoking and that's why they are up in arms against vaping.

  54. These disposables generate more trash. I found one abandoned in the park I walk every morning.

  55. If vaping were not lame enough already, I have recently been finding these all over the neighborhood. Vapers, like cigarette smokers, are not responsible enough not to litter. Why not a refundable deposit on cig and vape butts?

  56. @Clotario Some of us are. I recycle all of my used JUUL pods at my city's e-waste recycling facility.

  57. I saw the kid on CBS news yesterday, who had a double lung transplant after vaping related lung failure. His twin brother still vapes. Jesus H Christ, what is wrong with people? His mother should smack him upside the head every time he takes a hit off his vape pipe. I'm not condoning child abuse, but this is stupid.

  58. Because vaping isn't bad. it was the thc knockoffs that were bad.

  59. @BorisRoberts There was an update to that story. The kid finally admitted to using a vaping device to vape THC that he'd bought "on the street". It had nothing to do with nicotine-based vaping.

  60. Oh for cripes sake. What is this misinformed article doing on the top of the front page? NYT is OBSESSED with e-cigs. They usually get it wrong (that latest lung disease panic turned out to be related to users of cannabis oil - 'vaping' is not a blanket term and the stuff had a later identified toxin in it not found in nicotine vaping. - which NYT quietly acknowledged after whipping up the hysteria again). But besides persistently misconstruing the issue, it's just frivolous to prioritize one among many,. many health controversies, especially at a time like this. Just give it a rest.

  61. "They usually get it wrong ..." Since you seem to be an expert, please explain how underage people are getting these products. And what is the price range that you are aware of?

  62. @HGP They obtain the products the same way they obtain any other product they're too young to legally buy. If an irresponsible clerk doesn't sell the product to them, the alcoholic loiterers outside the store go in and buy it for them for a little spare change. My God. Were you never a kid?

  63. As a former smoker who quit with vaping, not a JUUL but a sub ohm device I can tell you that many people look for a good tobacco flavor, but most of them are horrible. That’s why there are so many flavors. JUUL was the right idea that got picked by the wrong people. JUUL was specifically designed to be a close to smoking as you could get. Tight hard pull, or puff. Almost immediate nicotine hit. It just tasted like boiled tires. So if you didn’t smoke and used a JUUL you were certain to be addicted to nicotine. The government needs to leave e-cigarettes alone like the rest of the world does or we need to pass a law that limits the amount of nicotine a regular cigarette has in it.

  64. "It just tasted like boiled tires." That could be a new marketing approach. Just rename all the fruit flavors to suggest something unpalatable or dangerous.

  65. @HGP "cigarettes kill" (instead of cigarette is injurious to health) is what attracted me to cigarettes first. Thanks for vaping I am free now

  66. Obviously these kids come from broken homes with low morals, no family values, a culture of dependency, super predation, and degenerate habits that only zero tolerance law enforcement, random searching, mass incarceration, and withdrawal of social service funding can cure. A few decades of that should fix them right up. Oh...they're white? Sorry, my mistake. Federal funds all around and let's keep the soft touch media treatment going. Thx

  67. The loop-hole isn't for the independent vape industry, its for the big 5, mostly tobacco owned brands. Puff Bars is not a real company, its a ghost brand like Dank. You can order them from China by the box load, made by one of the many pop-up manufactures who jump on a fad for a quick buck. (Yuan)

  68. Hey, kids will be kids. Most will get by just fine. History proves that time and again. Time for the do goody grownups to grow up.

  69. I don't care about the vape shop owners. Let them get into legitimate businesses. As it is they have blood on their hands. Ban all vapes. Not just the so-called flavored ones. Tobacco is a flavor too. There is no good reason for these devices to exist.

  70. @MIKEinNYC - what about beer and alcohol? Is there a reason for those to be sold? Oh, adults want alcohol? Well, adults also want to vape because it is keeps them off cigarettes. What does alcohol keep them from? There is no reason to sell alcohol. Let the liquor stores find some other legitimate business. And alcohol companies that make flavored vodka are targeting kids because no adult could possibly like flavors. Put them out of business, right?

  71. The real question is who is buying it for them? Parents need to take a little bit of responsibility here. Not only teens like to vape. Why should an adult vaper have to pay for the actions of others that they don’t know? Why don’t you ban flavored alcohol too with that logic while your at it? Heroin is banned...how is that working out? We don’t need more micromanaging.

  72. Oh the teens found the loophole not the tobacco companies or the people who made the regulations...

  73. So actually it was just a ploy to get kids to buy more expensive disposable cartridges.

  74. I'm not so sure they found the loophole as they are using a glaring loophole that was obviously present at the rollout of this make-it-look-like-we're-doing-something legislation. As Edmund Blackadder might say, this loophole was painted purple and dancing naked on a harpsichord singing, "Glaring Loopholes are Here Again."

  75. Who are the geniuses writing these laws? Must be the same people writing the tax code.

  76. I'm getting to be an old lady now but I can clearly remember why I, a student at an all-girls Catholic high school run by nuns and under nearly constant surveillance, took up smoking. Because I knew it would drive my parents and the nuns insane. It was the pure pleasure of doing something forbidden by all the adults in the room. Pure adolescent rebellion. So by all means demonize vaping. It will make the pleasure of doing it all the greater for the young.

  77. Heartbreaking teens are so intent on doing so much harm to themselves today. And no, I don’t think it was always that way.

  78. Why are we coddling people (underage customers as well as stores that are selling to them) that are breaking the law? No one seems to know what it means to be accountable for their own actions anymore. If these kids are that easily swayed to "follow the crowd" than vaping is the least of their worries. Another thing I find interesting is people want to say the flavors are purely marketed at teens. Well, I don't know about anyone else but I certainly didn't stop enjoying yummy things when I turned 18! Lol Have you ever noticed how many "flavors" of vodka there are?! Don't see anyone making a fuss over that. I certainly didn't see cigarettes become illegal when tons of teens were smoking in the 70's and 80's. No one wants to admit that in their effort to "save the kids" they are stepping on the rights of responsible adults. Imo, this whole thing has a lot more to do with lost tax revenue and/or lost earnings from big tobacco than it is with the well-being of kids.

  79. Once again, unintended consequences from poorly thought out, rushed and political legislation.

  80. Yet another Chicken Little "The sky is falling" article. Make vaping of any sort illegal for anyone under 18, then enforce the law! Ignoring that last part (enforcement) is what allows the practice to continue. Closing a few criminal vaping shops and locking up the owners and workers and teen buyers will soon severley curtail the extent of the problem. As far as adults go, like booze and tobacco, it's an individual's choice. There are a whole lot of former tobacco users who quit with the help of e-cigarettes and are now healthier as a result The panic purveyors seem to (as usual) overlook this.

  81. Take away a flavor, move to a different one. Who couldn't see this coming? It's an addiiction! Smoke gets in your (the regulator's) eyes.