The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products throughout the U.S.as officials have become increasingly alarmed with its draw to minors.
Combustible cigarettes have taken a backseat as the FDA carries out a vendetta on e-cigarettes, which are soaring among popularity among young people, rather than adults trying to quit, who were supposed to be the target market.
The FDA's flavor restrictions would exclude menthol, meaning menthol and mint vape products would still be allowed to be sold in convenience stores and gas stations - until the FDA removes menthol cigarettes from the market.
While vaping itself is less harmful than tobacco smoking, research shows many e-cigarette users are likely to develop nicotine addictions and some will probably end up on regular cigarettes, a product that kills half of its long-term users.
Those products, sold under the MarkTen, blu, Vuse and Logic brands, have lost market share as Juul has risen to prominence over the previous year, growing from 13.6 percent of the USA e-cigarette market in early 2017 to almost 75 percent now, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen retail data. He has said the FDA will share its own plan in mid-November.
"E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous - and risky - trend among teens", Gottlieb said in September. Revenue from e-cigarette devices made up less than 1 percent of British American Tobacco's global revenue for the first six months of 2018, according to a company filing from July.
When it comes to e-cigarettes, he is focusing on fruity flavors, which he says are the most attractive to young never-smokers.
E-cig companies say they can help adults stop smoking real cigarettes and that they're not intended for kids.
"The big answer is we don't know, we have no idea what the long-term use of e-cigarettes is", Krugman said.