Puff Bar Has Overtaken Juul as the Favorite E-Cigarette for Teens

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Fruity, disposable e-cigarettes stay in style amongst middle- and high-school college students, in accordance with new federal knowledge. And probably the most generally used model—Puff Bar—is one which has remained in the marketplace regardless of an order by the Meals and Drug Administration final yr to halt its U.S. gross sales.

About 11% of U.S. high-school college students—an estimated 1.7 million kids—mentioned they’d used e-cigarettes at the least as soon as previously 30 days. The info are primarily based on a nationwide survey carried out on-line between Jan. 18 and March 21.

Final yr, about 20% of U.S. high-school college students, or about three million, mentioned they’d used e-cigarettes at the least as soon as previously 30 days. The annual research is carried out by the FDA and the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, which mentioned adjustments in methodology this yr due to the pandemic made it troublesome to match with prior years.

Probably the most generally used flavors amongst younger individuals had been fruit, sweet and desserts, mint and menthol, in accordance with the survey. Greater than half of younger e-cigarette customers mentioned they used disposable units. Some 26% of high-school vapers mentioned they used disposable model Puff Bar, which was adopted in recognition by Reynolds American Inc.’s refillable Vuse model with 11%, Smok with 10% and Juul with 6%. Amongst middle-school e-cigarette customers, 30% reported that their typical model was Puff Bar.

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Puff Bar’s gross sales jumped in early 2020 when federal restrictions barred the sale of candy and fruity e-cigarette refill pods like these of trade chief Juul Labs Inc. As a result of Puff Bar units couldn’t be refilled, the FDA’s preliminary taste restrictions didn’t apply to them. Underage vaping dropped after these restrictions had been carried out, however disposable e-cigarette use amongst kids and teenagers jumped.

In July of final yr, the FDA ordered the corporate to halt its gross sales, saying its merchandise hadn’t been licensed by the company.

The model stopped gross sales on its web site however continued promoting in retail shops with flavors akin to Watermelon, Blue Razz and Lemon Ice. Puff Bar resumed gross sales on its web site in February of this yr, saying it had modified its substances and now used nicotine that wasn’t derived from tobacco. The change might permit it to sidestep the FDA. An company spokeswoman didn’t instantly remark Thursday on Puff Bar’s continued recognition amongst kids. The FDA beforehand mentioned it couldn’t touch upon an open investigation.

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It isn’t clear who owns the model. Puff Bar didn’t instantly reply to an emailed request for remark.

This yr’s survey was the primary to be totally carried out in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the adjustments in the best way the survey was carried out this yr, the outcomes aren’t similar to findings from earlier surveys. College students this yr answered questions by a web-based survey from their lecture rooms, houses or different places. Earlier than the pandemic, the survey was carried out in individual in class lecture rooms.

Well being officers mentioned a big variety of younger individuals vaped this yr even supposing many had been studying remotely and might need had much less entry to e-cigarettes from mates or classmates. Some 2.8% of middle-school college students, or an estimated 320,000, reported e-cigarette use previously 30 days.

“These knowledge spotlight the truth that flavored e-cigarettes are nonetheless extraordinarily in style with youngsters,” mentioned

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Mitch Zeller,

director of the FDA’s Middle for Tobacco Merchandise.

The outcomes might inform the FDA’s pending choices on which e-cigarette merchandise it’ll permit to stay on the U.S. market. Some lawmakers and public-health teams have referred to as on the company to ban all e-cigarette flavors apart from tobacco.

Among the many FDA’s choices thus far, the company has ordered off the market greater than one million flavored merchandise—together with vaping liquids with flavors akin to apple crumble, cola and cinnamon toast cereal—saying the producers hadn’t offered adequate proof that their merchandise benefited grownup people who smoke to an extent that outweighed their potential attraction to younger individuals.

In 2017, Juul catapulted to the highest of the e-cigarette market. However the firm’s valuation has fallen simply as rapidly, as a sequence of crises have led to lots of of lawsuits alleging that the corporate marketed its merchandise to teenagers. Picture Illustration: Jacob Reynolds/WSJ

Write to Jennifer Maloney at [email protected]

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