A Guide to Flavored Nicotine Bans - U.S. and Global
The regulations on flavored products are becoming an increasingly discussed topic. Over the past few years, some states have made the decision to impose flavor bans in order to dissuade young people from using these products. But what does a flavor ban really mean?
What Does a Flavor Ban Mean?
The introduction of a flavor ban means that there will be a majorly reduced selection of tobacco-free products. Most bans include flavors such as Wintergreen and other mint flavors, not just the fruity flavors. This means, for example, that while there is no “ZYN” ban, you could only buy unflavored ZYNs.
Is there an FDA flavor ban?
In April 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally announced their proposed rules for menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. But where do flavored nicotine pouches sit? While the FDA is regulating all nicotine products, there have been no developments on a generalized FDA flavor ban on nicotine pouches or other nicotine products (not including vapes). This means each flavor ban update is on a state or even more granular level. Below, we have collated a list of the current situation on U.S. flavor bans as well as a list of other countries that have imposed flavor bans.
Flavor Bans in the U.S. and Beyond
Nicotine products (including nicotine pouches) are currently regulated across the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is not a country-wide flavor ban, but there are some state flavor bans including:
- Status: Referendum vote will take place November 8.
- Ban Includes: Tobacco products, vapes and nicotine pouches.
In California, there will be a referendum vote on November 8 on Proposition 31. If the majority vote Yes, this would trigger Senate Bill 793 which prohibits the sale of flavored nicotine and tobacco products.
- Status: Active (Since April 2020)
- Ban Includes: Covers all flavored tobacco and vapes
- Status: Active since June 2020
- Ban Includes: The sale of flavored combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products (including flavored chewing tobacco and menthol cigarettes). In addition, nicotine products over 35mg/milliliter can only be sold and consumed in licensed smoking bars (flavored) or bought from adult-only tobacconists (unflavored). Unflavored products under 35mg/milliliter of nicotine can be sold in licensed retail stores (e.g. convenience stores and gas stations).
- Status: Active
- Ban Includes: All flavored products (apart from tobacco flavored and menthol cigarettes).
- Status: Active since 2020
- Ban Includes: All flavors apart from tobacco.
- Nicotine pouches are not authorized by the government for sale in Canada.
There is an EU-wide ban on snus, however, there are a couple of exemptions.
Snus is legal, however nicotine pouches are not currently sold.
Both snus and nicotine pouches are legal to buy and use.
Nicotine pouches, alongside e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, are only available on prescription.
Snus is banned outright and some nicotine pouches are available. In order to be able to sell in New Zealand, nicotine pouch suppliers must be able to prove that their product provides significant harm reduction in comparison to smoking and can help the country reach its targets of going smoke-free. This regulation has been in place since 2018.
Keep Up To Date
While we will update this page regularly with flavor ban news, but laws are prone to change rapidly. If ever you are in doubt about the laws in your state, region or country - please contact the local authorities.
Is There a Flavor Ban Petition?
Yes! Sign the Nicokick Flavor Ban Petition
Flavor bans don’t work. The more effective approach is an emphasis on promoting access to smoke-free products that help smokers transition to safer products rather than implementing a one-size-fits-all ban. Public officials have a duty to inform consumers about where they can find safer products, like nicotine pouches, gum, and mints. Otherwise, adult users will not have the resources they need to quit smoking and public health will continue to be at risk.
While the decision on California’s flavor ban remains uncertain, Californians opposed to the flavor ban can still write their legislators to make sure their voice gets heard. Regardless of what happens with the ballot initiative, legislators could pass a bill that overturns the flavor ban. If you live in California, you can find your local legislators and their contact information here.