U.S. seizes more illegal e-cigarettes, but thousands of new ones are launching

U.S. officials are seizing more shipments of unauthorized electronic cigarettes. But industry data shows thousands of new flavored products continue pouring into the country from China. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Federal officials are seizing more shipments of unauthorized electronic cigarettes at U.S. ports, but thousands of new flavored products continue pouring into the country from China, according to government and industry data reviewed by The Associated Press. The figures underscore the chaotic state of the nation’s $7 billion vaping market and raise questions about how the U.S. government can stop the flow of fruit-flavored disposable e-cigarettes used by 1 in 10 American teens and adolescents. More than 11,500 unique vaping products are being sold in U.S. stores, up 27% from 9,000 products in June, according to tightly held industry data from analytics firm Circana. “FDA whacks one product and then the manufacturers get around it and the kids get around it,” said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a Stanford University psychologist who develops anti-vaping educational materials. “It’s too easy to change your product a little bit and just relaunch it.” Halpern-Felsher says she is “constantly” updating her curriculum to keep pace with new vaping brands and trends. Nearly all the new products are disposable e-cigarettes, according to the sales data gathered from gas stations, convenience stores and other shops. The products generated $3.2 billion in the first 11 months of this year. The FDA has authorized a handful of e-cigarettes for adult smokers and is still reviewing products from several major companies, including Juul. Regulators consider nearly all other e-cigarettes to be illegal. “Those committing illegal acts don’t advertise their crimes, and those trying to import illegal tobacco products into the United States are no different,” said FDA’s tobacco director, Brian King, in a written response to AP questions. “The FDA and our […]

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