Top Senators Urge Stores to Stop Selling Illicit Vapes

The chairmen of five key Senate committees on Thursday warned the chief executives of major convenience stores and wholesalers to stop sales of illicit flavored vaping products that they called “widespread violations of federal law.”

The senators voiced their concerns in letters to the companies, amplifying the frustration among some lawmakers in Congress over the continued availability of e-cigarettes in vivid colors and candy flavors that attract young people who could become addicted to nicotine. The unchecked sales, they wrote, “pose a tremendous public health threat.”

“F.D.A. and the industry must do more to address the youth vaping epidemic and remove unauthorized vaping products from their shelves immediately,” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, said.

The letters were addressed to retailers including 7-Eleven, Circle K, bp America, Pilot, Kwik Trip and others. The Food and Drug Administration had earlier issued warnings about sales of unauthorized brands like Elf Bar, E.B. Design and Funky Republic.

The senators’ letters reminded the companies that Congress gave the F.D.A. authority over tobacco products in a landmark 2009 law. Selling unapproved items can result in fines or an order to stop selling any tobacco products, the letter notes.

“Today, millions of children use unauthorized e-cigarettes, risking nicotine addiction, respiratory illness, exacerbation of depression and anxiety, and many other harms,” read the letter to Joseph DePinto, the chief executive of 7-Eleven. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Back to top button