Comptroller Announces First-in-the-Nation Prohibition on Sales of Disposable Flavored E-Cigarettes

February 11, 2020

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that his Field Enforcement Division (FED) is taking a first-in-the-nation approach to prohibiting the sale of certain Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs) marketed towards kids.

“Today, in addition to the FDA’s prohibition of flavored e-cigarette cartridges, I have directed our enforcement agents to take more aggressive action by prohibiting the sale of disposable ESDs with flavors other than tobacco or menthol,” Comptroller Franchot said. “As the state’s tobacco regulator, it’s my legal and moral responsibility to protect consumers, especially children, from the hazardous substances contained in these unauthorized products.”

Last October, the Comptroller created the e-facts Task Force on Electronic Smoking Devices to learn more about the industry and to consider what regulatory and legislative action should be taken. The task force has met three times and will be holding its final session on February 17 to weigh recommendations.

“In recent months, we’ve heard troubling reports of health-related issues, including deaths, that have been directly attributable to the use of ESDs,” Franchot said. “At the same time, the use of ESDs among teens has skyrocketed. I will not stand idly by letting kids get addicted to nicotine and hurt by these unregulated products that are marketed directly towards them.”

Last month, the FDA announced enforcement actions against “illegally marketed” ESD products – particularly, “flavored, cartridge-based [ESD] product[s],” which took effect on February 6.

However, flavored disposable e-cigarettes, which are growing in popularity among youngsters, are not covered under the FDA prohibition – a loophole that precipitated the Comptroller’s announcement today. The FED will prioritize its enforcement actions towards unauthorized disposable products most widely used by children – those bearing names such as Strawberry Hard Candy, Pineapple Lemonade, Mango Bomb, Berry Gelato, Lush Ice and O.M.G.

“The federal flavor ban left a gaping hole for disposable flavored vape products,” said Dr. Kathleen Hoke, a University of Maryland Law School Professor and Director of the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy. “I am happy to know Comptroller Franchot is putting children first by closing that gap.”


Earlier today, the Field Enforcement Division notified industry leaders to make them aware of this state policy change. In addition, the agency posted an informational bulletin about the targeted enforcement on the Comptroller’s website.

As the state’s tobacco regulator, the Comptroller issues licenses to wholesalers and retailers of tobacco products and ESDs. If those licenses are deceptively, fraudulently or unlawfully used, the Comptroller can suspend or revoke those licenses or assess additional penalties.

Agents from the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division will immediately begin license checks and product inspections to ensure compliance.

“As a parent of two teenagers whose family has been directly impacted by the vaping epidemic, I applaud the Comptroller’s enforcement actions against those ESD products that are most commonly used by kids,” said John Brennan, an Anne Arundel County resident and a member of the e-facts Task Force. “Disposable ESDs give children a relatively inexpensive and easily accessible path toward nicotine addiction. Keeping unregulated highly addictive ESDs out of the hands of our children is a step in the right direction.”

17 Responses to Comptroller Announces First-in-the-Nation Prohibition on Sales of Disposable Flavored E-Cigarettes

  1. Anonymous on February 11, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Dear John Brennan,

    Just out of curiosity, did you happen to remove any and all flavored ALCOHOL from your home? Statistics show that under aged children tend to favor flavored sweet alcohols over their counterparts. Did you set the standard and rid your home and life of these products?
    Also, statistics show that good parenting leads to children NOT using products that you do not want them to. It is not the governments responsibility to show YOUR children what is right, wrong, or acceptable. That is YOUR job sir!

    Signed,

    Someone with Common Sense

    • Charles on February 12, 2020 at 8:03 am

      Yeah, he probably has flavored alcohol too. People like him are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    • Tea Bag King on February 13, 2020 at 8:01 am

      Your statement on good parenting is correct. When there is a dearth of good parenting, unfortunately the government steps in. If ALL parents did their job, there wouldn’t be a market for this stuff and the government wouldn’t be all up in it’s business.

    • Bigger picture on February 13, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Lobbyist?

  2. Anonymous on February 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Yet the sale of cigarettes, cigars and alcohol isn’t prohibited. This is just the tobacco industry trying to destroy the competition and eliminate the chances of people quitting smoking. How many different flavors of alcohol are there? Probably about as many as there are vape liquids. The same reason why the FDA will not approve certain supplements and alternative medicines. It’s all about the money at the end of the day, they don’t care what kids do. How many fatalities have there been from kids vaping in comparison to smoking, doing drugs and drinking alcohol? I’ll wait.

    • Anon on February 12, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      So True; only a few people died from Vaping and such a knee jerk reaction. How many people die from Opioids everyday and no change to the pharmaceutical laws? Definitely Big Tobacco using the Government to kill off any new competition.

      • Bigger picture on February 13, 2020 at 11:53 am

        Since e-cigarettes (Vaping) IS owned and marketed via Big Tobacco as simply an alternate means to maintaining their nicotine supply line. Different addictive nicotine delievery system, same nicotine junkie.

  3. Oh yeah, we have priorities. on February 12, 2020 at 5:59 am

    With all of the mega-harmful substances that COULD be removed from the marketplaces, MARYLAND goes to this.

    There is no common sense. There is no justice. There is no liberty. There is less and less freedom.

    Maryland is just like California, who is banning plastic straws while the homeless $hit in piles and shoot-up on their sidewalks.

    The TRUE chaos of DEMOCRAT RULE!

    Strain at the gnat – swallow the camel.

  4. Anonymous on February 12, 2020 at 7:13 am

    Knee-jerk over-reaction to a short time period where illegal vape product was being sold on the streets (like heroin) to minors that was adulterated with cheap additives. Those additives were never intended to be in inhaled in any way and were the cause of the destruction of the users lungs leading to death.

    When are they going to pursue the people responsible for that?

    Now, stop reading this on your cell phone while driving. That can get people killed.

  5. BooBerry on February 12, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Juule is owned by Marlboro. There goes your brilliant deduction.

    • Anonymous on February 12, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      It’s Juul, not “Juule” and they’re not the only brand of e-cig/vaping devices. You’re completely skipping Smok, Halo, Volcano, Blu and the long list of others. Does Marlboro or any other cigarette company own those too? Not only can the pen versions be purchased, there’s also the box mods. Another thing that you anti-vape idiots conveniently leave out of the discussion is that unlike cigarettes and cigars, you can choose to purchase a vape liquid with very low or zero nicotine. Of course this varies upon the user.

    • Bigger picture on February 13, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Yup, just Big Tobacco hooking their next generation of “customers” (nicotine junkies).

    • Publius on February 13, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      BooBerry, Altria owns Juul Labs. Altria also owns PhillipMorrisUSA, which owns the Marlboro brand. Altria owns a number of companies and a plethora of brands. Though Anonymous’s may be a logical fallacy, it can be strategic for a company to to sacrifice one brand to benefit the whole.

      • Anonymous on February 14, 2020 at 10:54 am

        Not a fallacy at all because I quit smoking cigarettes when I started vaping. Years after vaping, I quit vaping after I leveled down to zero nicotine. Nobody ever wants to talk about the success stories of vaping. Only how supposedly bad it is when nobody really knows a lot about it yet in relation to long term effects.

  6. Anonymous on February 12, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Happy Meals should be prohibited as well, they get kids addicted to fat, sugar and salt.

  7. Anonymous on February 12, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    the best thing that happened to the tobacco industry was to have 18 put on it. since were’ supposed to show id & therefore, the tobacco cant’ be laying around like the toilet paper is, the tobacco is cared for & you always confront it when youre’ shopping ………. making it very difficult to quit i might add. those that are trying to quit smoking …… have to go on a fast-food regimen in order to try to quit, to avoid looking at tobacco …… when they’re innocently trying to get dinner. Incidentally, the tobacco tax is not disclosed. It is 2.00/ per pack for cigarettes & there is one on cigars, regular & premium, & chewing tobacco & there might be one on vaping. A premium cigar has a filter.

  8. Just thinking out loud on February 13, 2020 at 9:08 am

    “The federal flavor ban left a gaping hole for disposable flavored vape products,”

    Hmmm…either the law makers are not that smart, or this was on purpose, hoping no one would notice.