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Maryland will ban disposable e-cigarettes exempt from Trump policy

Maryland will ban disposable e-cigarettes exempt from Trump policy

Maryland will become the first state to ban all flavors of disposable e-cigarettes except for tobacco and menthol, the state’s comptroller announced Monday.

Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) said the policy will close a loophole in the Trump administration’s limited e-cigarette flavor ban.

The administration’s flavored vaping product guidance, which took effect last week, banned popular cartridge-based fruit and mint flavors but not tobacco and menthol.

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Disposable e-cigarettes, open tank systems and e-liquids of any flavor, including those mixed in vape shops, remain available under the policy. 

The administration's decision left public health advocates and many lawmakers unsatisfied with what they saw as a gigantic exemption for the industry.

Disposable e-cigarettes are generally cheaper than the other products, and have rapidly gained popularity among young people as regulators have cracked down on other devices. They are sold under brand names like Puff Bar, blu and Stig, with flavors like mango, pink lemonade and O.M.G., a mixture of orange, mango and guava.

Franchot, who is planning to run for governor in 2022, said he instructed his field enforcement division to halt the sale of disposable electronic smoking devices most widely used by children.

“I will not stand idly by letting kids get addicted to nicotine and hurt by these unregulated products that are marketed directly towards them,” Franchot said in a statement.

Franchot’s office sent the state's tobacco retailers and wholesalers a notice, warning that the state will discipline any store caught selling the products.