The Trump administration will ban flavored e-cigarette pods, with the exemption of menthol and tobacco flavors, and flavored liquid nicotine products commonly marketed in vape shops, a senior White House official told CNBC, demanding anonymity because the information is confidential.
The salvo to vape shop owners was made more accessible by a procurement in the $1.4 trillion spending package that Trump signed earlier this month, prohibiting the sale of cigarettes and e-cigarettes to children under the age of 21, the official stated. That brand-new restriction is likely to chill teen vaping, notwithstanding the administration’s stance on flavored pods.
The ban will have a limited impact on vaping industry leader Juul, which, under heightened scrutiny, has already stopped the sale of its flavors in the U.S., aside from menthol, Virginia tobacco and classic tobacco. It will feasibly be a blast to Juul rival, NJOY, which looked to benefit from Juul’s flavor retreat with the sale of its own blueberry flavors in stores.
Tobacco companies, meantime, may embrace the new restrictions as a possibility to level the regulatory playing field, said one industry insider. Companies like Altria, PMI Group, Japan Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands, have faced waning sales as smokers are dying, stopping or shifting to e-cigarettes.
Amid that pressure, Altria shelled out a $12.8 billion investment for a stake in Juul, in faiths of capturing a part of its once explosive growth.
The ban, first reported by the Wall Street Journal quoting people familiar with the matter, is expected to be formally announced Friday, the official stated.