In 2019 and early 2020 the US e-vapour industry faced a variety of new challenges that threatened its rapid growth. The outbreak of vaping illness and broad concerns related to underage use led to closer scrutiny of manufacturers and legislative change. In response, the industry has modified its products and reprioritised alignment with public health goals. These developments in the US market are a harbinger of changes in the global e-vapour market.
E-vapour has been able to grow at high rates while cigarette volumes have faced continuous decline. However, youth vaping and vaping illness have drawn enormous attention, threatening the category’s growth in 2020 and beyond.
Government actors enacted a variety of measures in 2019 aimed at responding to concern from advocacy groups, the media and general public over vaping. Many actions targeted limiting flavours in e-vapour products.
2020 will see the FDA continue with its implementation of nationwide regulations, in the form of its pre-market tobacco approval process and enforcement against certain e-liquid flavours. Further far-reaching regulations from state and local governments targeting various aspects of the e-vapour industry are also likely.
As controversies related to e-vapour grew, some industry players did not wait for government action to enact changes. Major players took a variety of actions including stopping sales to individuals under 21 and limiting their offer of flavours.
The US has been the first to seriously contemplate youth vaping, its prevalence, and its causes. Vaping illness also occurred first in the US. As the products associated with both become more common in other markets, these phenomena may spread.
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