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Maryland – Stop a Flavor Ban SB 259 [ENDED]

current status




Signed by

02.16.23 – Public Hearing: Senate Finance Committee, 1:00 PM

SB 259 would ban the sale of any tobacco or nicotine product in flavors other than tobacco. Even products granted marketing orders (PMTA) by FDA for meeting the “appropriate for the protection of public health standard,” or have also received “modified risk orders” (MRTP) would be prohibited for sale.

This bill is scheduled for a hearing on

  • Thursday, February 16, 2023
  • 1:00 PM
  • Senate Finance Committee

(If you would like to speak at the hearing, check out the 2023 Witness Committee Guidelines. Oral testimony sign-up and written testimony submission will open one (1) business day in advance of the scheduled bill hearing and will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Prior to this hearing please take a moment to contact your lawmakers and urge them to reject SB 259.

  • Urge committee members to oppose the flavor ban bill which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking and send people back to smoking or to buy their vapor products from informal sources.
  • Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors play in helping you live smoke free.
  • Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
  • Briefly, discuss what losing access to a local supply of vapor products will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
  • Be brief, Be kind, and Say Thank You 🙂

For those new to vaping or just generally unfamiliar with federal regulations, the premarket tobacco application (or PMTA) deadline was September 9, 2020. This application is required to keep or bring new tobacco/nicotine products on the market. It is estimated that 95% to 98% of vapor manufacturers are effectively priced out of the authorization process.

But 98% is not 100% (as the antis are fond of saying).

The FDA has already approved some new tobacco products that are being sold in flavors other than tobacco (specifically mint, menthol, and wintergreen). In the weeks prior to the September deadline, the FDA accepted for review several applications for bottled e-liquid in flavors ranging from tobacco to cereal to fruit. Despite the rhetoric from certain members of congress and the incessant pro-drug war drum beat of tobacco prohibitionists, FDA is still capable of authorizing flavored smoke-free nicotine products for market. Moreover, FDA may even allow manufactures of these products to market them as safer than cigarettes, if they apply for and receive a modified risk order.

Maryland’s flavor ban would undermine any decision by the FDA allowing low-risk, flavored tobacco products on the market after having met the “appropriate for the protection of public health” standard. Even without involving the FDA, flavor bans are being enacted without thorough consideration of the negative consequences. Sales data from Massachusetts and New York suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking.

While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming parents and other adults who are trying to quit smoking.

Committees Meeting Schedule

Read Full Bill Text

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