Maryland Moves Beyond Federal Flavored Vapor Ban to Include Disposable Products

electronic cigarette user

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Looking to close a loophole in the newly implemented federal policy on flavored vapor products, the state of Maryland is prohibiting the sale of flavored disposable electronic cigarettes.

On Feb. 10, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced a state ban on the sale of disposable flavored e-cigarettes, which aren't included under the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new policy, according to WJZ, CBS Baltimore.

That policy, which went into effect on Feb. 6, prohibited the sale of flavored cartridge-based and pod-based vapor products. It does not affect the sale of e-liquids and disposable products, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

"With these enforcement actions, Maryland is the first state in the country, that we are aware of, to go beyond the new FDA regulations to more aggressively combat the epidemic of underage use of electronic smoking devices," Franchot said.

According to Franchot, state law gives officials statutory authority since the FDA has said that all electronic smoking devices are illegally marketed as sold.

"We are taking these actions because the FDA fell short in their responsibility," he said.

Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA must approve premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) for tobacco products — including e-cigarettes and vapor products — to stay on the market. To date, the agency has not approved any PMTAs for those newly deemed tobacco products and the industry is facing a May 12, 2020 deadline to file the applications.

Franchot previously created the "e-facts Task Force on Electronic Smoking Devices" to learn more about the industry and see what action should be taken. The task force has met three times, according to the comptroller, and it will hold its final session on Feb. 17 to discuss recommendations.

At the state legislative level, state Sens. Benjamin Kramer, James Rosapepe and Christopher West sponsored a bill banning the sale of electronic smoking devices that contain flavors other than tobacco. That includes menthol, WTOP reported.