On Friday, June 10th, Maryland Attorney General Frosh joined 31 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reject marketing authorization for non-tobacco nicotine (NTN) products.
The coalition urges regulation of said products’ contents, manufacturing, health effects, and marketing claims. Should the FDA grant marketing authorization to NTNs, the coalition requests the FDA impose restrictions similar to those governing tobacco-derived nicotine products. Attorney General Frosh discussed why it is imperative the FDA step in to regulate non-tobacco nicotine products in a press release:
‘Kids are the targets of makers of nicotine vape and other non-tobacco products, and they are getting addicted in alarming numbers,’ said Attorney General Frosh. ‘The FDA must protect our children.’
In the coalition’s letter to the FDA, child usage of NTNs, particularly electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), is outlined in detail:
NTN products are being used in large quantities by youth, and thus threaten to help addict another generation to nicotine to the detriment of public health. The 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and FDA, found that 11.3 percent of high school students reported current ENDS use. Of those students who were currently using ENDS, over 85 percent reported using flavored ENDS products and 26.1 percent reported that their usual brand was the NTN product Puff Bar. Accordingly, Puff Bar, which is sold in a variety of flavors such as Watermelon, Blue Razz, Banana Ice, Strawberry, Grape, and Mango, was by far the most popular brand among high school students surveyed. The FDA, in reviewing PMTAs, has to date denied every application for flavored ENDS products on which it has made a determination, in large part because of ‘the known and substantial risk to youth posed by flavored ENDS.’
Altogether, the coalition argues there is no justification for regulating non-tobacco nicotine any differently than tobacco-derived nicotine. During the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session, MACo advocated for the passage of HB 732, originally entitled “Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, and Cigarettes – Taxation and Regulation,” citing “youth use of tobacco and vaping products.”