Maryland is the first state in the nation to ban disposable flavored e-cigarettes.

Maryland is taking swift action to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of children. On February 10, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot announced a ban on disposable electronic smoking devices, or ESDs. The ban is intended to fill the gap left after the FDA enacted a federal ban on flavored e-cigarette cartridges earlier this month. Disposable e-cigarettes are not covered under the FDA ban, and the Maryland Comptroller wants to make sure these items stay out of the hands of children.

The disposable e-cigarettes come in flavors that are particularly attractive to children, like strawberry hard candy, mango bomb, and O.M.G.

“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 year the comptroller created an e-facts task force to study the e-cigarette industry and make recommendations. Members of the task force will meet for a third and final time on February 17 to discuss new strategies. The ban on disposable ESDs is effective immediately but does not include menthol or tobacco flavor. Enforcement agents will work with tobacco sellers to implement the new ban. 

Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

“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.”

The age to purchase tobacco and vaping products was raised from 18 to 21 on September 19, 2019. The only exception is for active-duty members of the military.