KTVA: Murkowski and other US senators criticize new vaping guidelines

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski joins other lawmakers expressing concerns over the Food and Drug Administration's January guidance over vaping, saying it does not do enough to address the draw for young people.

Sens. Mitt Romney, Maggie Hassan, Jeff Merkley, Susan Collins and Tom Udall joined Murkowski and explained their concerns in a letter Monday to Mitch Zeller, the FDA's director of the Center for Tobacco Products.

The senators suggested flavors be banned in a greater range of electronic nicotine delivery systems.

“Data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which the guidance heavily relies on, shows roughly 5 million young people tried e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, and an increasing number of middle- and high-schoolers are becoming regular users,” the senators wrote. “Yet, despite mounting evidence that flavors are a key driver of youth ENDS use, the January guidance has glaring policy gaps that keep kids addicted to flavored products.”

The senators also suggested the temporary flavor ban extend to menthol, citing studies that say youth are turning to menthol in the absence of other flavors.

"We encourage FDA to add menthol-flavored ENDS to the temporary flavor ban for cartridge-based ENDS, and apply the temporary flavor ban, including menthol, to disposables and e-liquids," the letter stated.

The letter also asked Zeller a series of questions including whether the FDA has considered removing nicotine from flavored products that appeal most to minors.

By:  Jennifer Summers
Source: KTVA