FiLE - Vaping

A man, who declined to be identified, adds drops of a liquid flavoring to a vaping device before smoking with it while on a work break Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Tukwila, Wash.

(The Center Square) – As the legal use of vaping products continues to be argued in court, a debate also continues on whether a ban would send vapors back to regular cigarettes.  

Juul can continue to sell its electronic cigarettes after a federal appeals court in June blocked an FDA ban. 

To stay on the market, companies must show that their e-cigarettes benefit public health. Essentially, that means proving that adult smokers who use vapes are likely to quit or reduce their smoking, while teenagers are unlikely to become hooked on them.   

This week for a third time in four decisions, a federal appeals court has denied an Illinois-based vaping manufacturer’s petition for review of an FDA marketing denial order. A three judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the FDA, denying the appeal by Gripum LLC, which makes bottled e-liquid under several names. 

In Illinois, there's talk of placing a ban on all flavored tobacco and vapes in the state, but legislation has yet to move out of committee. 

Elizabeth Hicks, U.S. Affairs analyst with the Consumer Choice Center, warned that enacting a flavor ban for vaping and tobacco products would push consumers to switch back to smoking combustible tobacco.

“About 12% of adults in 2020 reported smoking, but we can certainly expect that number to increase,” Hicks said.

Hicks said with more people smoking cigarettes, Illinois taxpayers will eventually have to pick up the tab. 

“This ultimately will lead to increases in smoking-related healthcare costs, which are already costing Illinois taxpayers over $1.9 billion annually,” she said.  

Meredith Berkman with Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes wants to see all vapes taken off the market. She said her organization is getting help from an Illinois senator. 

“Sen. Dick Durbin for many years has been fighting the tobacco industry and he has called upon the FDA to take these products off the market,” Berkman said. 

As school starts around the country, Berkman’s organization is providing a “Schools In, Vapes Out Guide” to help parents recognize the signs of vaping and provide quitting resources for those who need them. 

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.