FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids
FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids
Credit Gabby Jones Bloomberg
13 September, 2018, 20:01
Despite the constant warnings that increased experimentation with e-cigarettes would lead to more smoking, consumption of conventional cigarettes by teenagers stubbornly continues to decline, reaching a record low previous year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975.
Gottlieb called the action "historic" and said it was the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the agency's history.
Juul Labs, which controls about 70% of the market, said in its statement that "appropriate flavors" play a role in adults changing their smoking habits, but added that they "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".
The FDA also requested Juul and four other manufacturers provide plans to mitigate youth sales within 60 days or face potential criminal or civil action.
The FDA also sent more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers found to be selling vapes to minors during an "undercover nationwide blitz" this summer.
"We must do more to stem what I see as an epidemic of use of e-cigs among teens, and deeply disturbing trends that show no sign of abating", he said.
And if the trends in use that we're seeing right now continue, we're going to have to take even more dramatic actions. The companies sell Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL, and Logic e-cigarette brands, which account for 97 percent of USA e-cigarette sales, according to FDA.
"We're especially focused on the flavored e-cigarettes", said Gottlieb. His group and several others are suing the FDA over a decision to delay federal review of most e-cigarettes.
Gottlieb said the FDA recognized the impact this might have on adults trying to stop smoking, but said that emerging research on how flavored products encourage excessive use by young people shows action must be taken.
It has warned that most such products contain nicotine, which is addictive and can affect brain development.
During the 60-day waiting period, the FDA plans to investigate the five companies' marketing and sales practices, with possible "boots on the ground inspections", Gottlieb said.
"If a kid comes in, even over 18, and I ask him, 'Have you ever smoked a cigarette?' He says, 'No.' 'Did you ever Vape before?' He goes, 'No.' Then I'll tell him, 'Why do you want to start?'" Lee said.
The FDA discovered that top-selling brands like JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen XL, blu e-cigs, and Logic were popular among minors.
To report a retailer selling tobacco products to underage customers, submit an online form on the FDA's website.
The FDA also plans to revisit its policy that extended the dates for manufacturers of certain flavored e-cigarettes to apply for premarket authorization.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled.
The FDA is in the process of rolling out a sweeping anti-smoking initiative created to make it easier for smokers to quit by cutting the nicotine levels in regular cigarettes.
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