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WASHINGTON — Congress gave the Food and Drug Administration a clear directive to crack down on vape companies skirting the agency’s rules. But there are growing signs the agency is not ready to do as instructed.

Now, advocates are apoplectic.


This March, Congress acted remarkably swiftly to give the FDA the power to regulate so-called synthetic nicotine products — vaping products, often sold in fruity flavors like ”watermelon berry,” “banana ice,” and “rainbow cloudz,” that were only on the market because of a loophole in the agency’s tobacco regulation. That loophole allowed companies to sell their products so long as they made them using nicotine produced in a lab, rather than extracting it from a tobacco plant.

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