American Lung Association: Bipartisan Agreement to Close “Puff Bar” Loophole Will Protect Our Kids

Today, a bipartisan legislative agreement was announced that will expand the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Tobacco Products authority so that it includes all synthetic nicotine products. The American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

“Today, leaders in Congress announced that the omnibus will contain critical legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate synthetic nicotine. This will have a significant impact on our youth and save lives. Thank you to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) and House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) for their leadership and perseverance in closing this dangerous loophole, which allows e-cigarette companies to sell kid-friendly e-cigarette flavors and addict our youth.

“Because synthetic nicotine isn’t derived from tobacco, the FDA does not currently have oversight over these products. Puff Bar, the most popular e-cigarette brand among youth, took advantage of this loophole and continues to sell e-cigarettes in many kid-friendly flavors like peach ice, mango and strawberry banana. A number of other e-cigarette companies announced after receiving marketing denial orders from FDA that they would switch to using synthetic nicotine to evade FDA’s authority.

“Youth e-cigarette use continues to be a public health crisis. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than two million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2021. Youth are attracted to fruit- and candy-flavors and are quickly addicted to harmful e-cigarettes. In fact, 26.8% of middle and high school e-cigarette users report Puff Bar as their usual brand. In addition, 43.6% of high school students who use e-cigarettes are vaping regularly (20 or more of the past 30 days), and more than 1 in 4 (27.6%) are vaping daily. This regular use underscores how addicted youth have become to e-cigarettes.   

“We urge Congress to swiftly pass the omnibus with this provision and we urge President Biden to sign it into law. The legislation has strict enforcement timelines. We also urge FDA to act without delay to halt the sale of these flavored e-cigarettes that are being marketed to children.”

The Lung Association has resources to prevent tobacco use and help youth quit, specifically designed for schools, parents and teens, including The Vape Talk, our Vape-Free Schools Initiative, Not On Tobacco, and more resources available online

For media interested in speaking with an expert, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001. 

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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