FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids

Marcus Newton
September 16, 2018

The undercover investigation took place from June through the end of August, with the majority of violations involving the sale of products by the five manufacturers, which make up more than 97 percent of the US e-cigarette market.

"I use the word epidemic with great care", said FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

As part of its broader enforcement efforts, the FDA said it issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors. "We are committed to preventing underage use of our product, and we want to be part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people", Juul spokesperson Victoria Davis said in a statement provided to TIME.

The FDA singled out Juul in its press release, saying that the company's products are especially popular among, and risky for, high school students.

"While vaping devices have the potential to be disruptive to the combustible tobacco market, this can not be at the expense of increasing rates of nicotine addiction in young people", Ylioja said.

The FDA is giving Juul and other manufacturers 60 days to share plans to reduce youth sales or face possible criminal or civil action.

According to data published Wednesday, the FDA sent warning letters to 28 Arkansas retailers. The FDA received congressional approval to regulate e-cigarettes in August 2016, although it's trying to ease regulation to help stop cigarette smoking among adults.

It marks a shift in the agency's tone on e-cigarettes.

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However, he seemed reluctant to give up on flavored nicotine, because he said it appeals to adult cigarette smokers.

What's more, Gottlieb said the vaping industry appears to have turned a blind eye to the online practice of "straw purchasing" by retailers and individuals intent on buying vaping products and reselling them to minors. "Today's announcement will represent a fundamental turning point, if but only if, FDA formally requires all manufactures to comply with these requirements and FDA reverses its policy and requires that all of these products undergo premarket review now, not four years from now".

The FDA is taking steps to enforce and address the e-cigarette epidemic among minors.

Today more middle-and- high school students (over two million) are vaping than smoking tobacco cigarettes. "We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine". "Although SFATA has always taken the youth issue seriously and was the first to institute an Age to Vape program ahead of federal or state laws and our members continue to be vigilant in that regard while also adhering to our code of conduct, the FDA is clear and consistent in its messaging that youth usage must be dealt with more effectively". It issued 12 warning letters to companies it says have deceptive labels on e-liquids.

The steps announced Wednesday are just the initial elements of these new efforts, Gottlieb said.

Companies whose products were ordered off the shelves would have to show they have a net positive public health benefit before resuming with their sales.

The companies say they are working with the FDA to prevent young people from using their devices. British American Tobacco shares increased almost 6 percent to their best day since December, 2008.

"Adolescents and young adults are perceiving them to be a completely harmless or riskless alternative to combustible tobacco products", Kirshenbaum said. Appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth public-education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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