Years ago, e-cigarettes were invented to provide smokers with a healthier option, seeing as complications from smoking are a leading preventable cause of death in the United States, including here in Texas.

The science is still out on that, but now at least one company can boast that it has FDA approval that could help further validate the claim.

Despite years of denying the vape industry's authorization, the FDA made a groundbreaking decision Tuesday afternoon.

Great News

For the first time ever, the Food and Drug Administration authorized R.J. Reynolds Vaping Products. According to the New York Times, the FDA officially authorized the company's e-cigarette products for sale in the U.S. after "it concluded that the benefit to adult cigarette smokers outweighed the risk posed to young people."

Those products, sold under the brand name Vuse, now have the FDA stamp of approval, but here's the catch - only the tobacco flavored products got the OK. The NYT reports that menthol flavored products are still being evaluated, and the jury's still very much out on other flavored products.

Affecting Our Youth

A CDC study from 2020 reportedly found that more than 80% of high school students and 70% of middle school students (wow) use flavored Vape products.

The idea that kids are being lured into smoking by flavored e-cig and vape products lies at the heart of this issue. The Verge reports that although they have FDA approval, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company will have to greatly restrict advertising of its e-cigs to decrease the likelihood that kids, particularly teens, will see it.

Changing Their Mind Just This Once

Last month, the FDA rejected applications for more than 1 million e-cigarettes and related products because of their appeal to youth.

In September they also said that more than 5 million electronic cigarettes need to be taken off the market because they failed to provide sufficient evidence that vapes are less damaging.

Pay Attention, Just This One For Now

KWTX reports that the FDA authorization only applies to The Vuse refillable Solo Power and its nicotine flavored cartridges, and noted that the company R.J. Reynolds submitted 10 other requests that were denied. Again, the FDA is currently reviewing a menthol-flavored nicotine formula from the company.

Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Tobacco Center, said in a statement:

“Today’s authorizations are an important step toward ensuring all new tobacco products undergo the FDA’s robust, scientific premarket evaluation, the manufacturer’s data demonstrates its tobacco-flavored products could benefit addicted adult smokers who switch to these products – either completely or with a significant reduction in cigarette consumption. 

I think this is a huge win for the vaping industry!

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