Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)
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Vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or e-cigs), and e-pipes are some of the many terms used to describe electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). ENDS are noncombustible tobacco products.
These products use an “e-liquid” that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients. The liquid is heated to create an aerosol that the user inhales.
ENDS may be manufactured to look like conventional cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble pens or USB flash drives. Larger devices, such as tank systems or mods, bear little or no resemblance to cigarettes.
Respiratory Illnesses Associated with Use of Vaping Products
Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory illness associated with use of vaping products.
"The Real Cost" E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign
FDA's award-winning youth tobacco prevention campaign, "The Real Cost," expands to educate youth about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
Statistics about E-cigarette Use among U.S. Youth
- Among middle and high school students, 3.6 million were current users of e-cigarettes in 2020.1
- More than 8 out of 10 current youth users of e-cigarettes use flavored e-cigarettes, with fruit, mint, candy, and menthol flavors among the most commonly used.1
- According to a 2013-2014 survey, 81 percent of current youth e-cigarette users cited the availability of appealing flavors as the primary reason for use.2
FDA Regulation of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
In 2016, FDA finalized a rule extending CTP's regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) that meet the definition of a tobacco product. FDA regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of ENDS, including components and parts of ENDS but excluding accessories. Examples of components and parts of ENDS include:
- A glass or plastic vial container of e-liquid
- Certain batteries
- Cartomizers and clearomizers
- Digital display or lights to adjust settings
- Tank systems
- Drip tips
- Flavorings for ENDS
- Programmable software
Products marketed for therapeutic purposes (for example, marketed as a product to help people quit smoking) are regulated by FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). FDA published a rule clarifying when products made or derived from tobacco are regulated as tobacco products, drugs, and/ or devices.
In January 2020, FDA issued an enforcement policy on unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarette products, including fruit and mint flavors, that appeal to kids. For more information, see the final guidance: Enforcement Priorities for Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) and Other Deemed Products on the Market Without Premarket Authorization.
If you make, modify, mix, manufacture, fabricate, assemble, process, label, repack, relabel, or import ENDS, you must comply with the requirements for manufacturers.
CTP's Office of Small Business Assistance can answer specific questions about requirements of small businesses and how to comply with the law. This office also provides online educational resources to help regulated industry understand FDA regulations and policies.
Beginning in 2018, all "covered" tobacco products* must bear the required nicotine addictiveness warning statement on product packages and advertisements. *Note: Cigars, which are also “covered” tobacco products, have additional required warning statements.
Retail Sales of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and, E-Liquids
Note: On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available, and the information on this page will be updated accordingly in a timely manner.
If you sell ENDS, e-liquids, or their components or parts made or derived from tobacco, please read this summary of federal rules that retailers must follow.