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Maryland Comptroller Announces Prohibition On Sales Of Disposable Flavored E-Cigarettes, First In US

ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said he's doubling down on flavored electronic smoking devices widely popular among kids by taking a first-in-the-nation approach to prohibiting the sale of certain Electronic Smoking Devices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rolled out its new ban on favored cartridge-based e-cigarettes, but Franchot said the move is not enough. That's why he said he's going a step further by also banning disposable flavored e-cigarettes which aren't included under the FDA ban.

"With these enforcement actions, Maryland is the first state in the country, that we are aware of, to go beyond the new FDA regulations to more aggressively combat the epidemic of underage use of electronic smoking devices," Franchot said Monday.

The comptroller said according to state law, officials have statutory authority since the FDA has said that all electronic smoking devices are illegally marketed as sold.

"We are taking these actions because the FDA fell short in their responsibility," he said.

The comptroller had created the "e-facts Task Force on Electronic Smoking Devices" to learn more about the industry and see what action should be taken.

The task force has met three times, according to the comptroller.

It will hold its final session on February 17 to discuss recommendations.

There are anywhere from 7,000 and 8,000 retailers in the state who would otherwise sell the products. Franchot's office is now training state inspectors who will be keeping an eye out for the devices.

"We've already been in touch with wholesalers to let them know that this product is no longer authorized here," field enforcement director Jeff Kelly said. "We'll go back to wholesalers. We'll be at the retailers and we'll be looking for this product."

When asked whether he's worried about legal pushback from tobacco companies, Franchot said in part the companies have enough money and attorneys to fight back.

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