Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids

FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids

The health department said 19 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes. "So, now, I'm able to tell them, 'I no longer smoke cigarettes'".

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said that e-cigarettes, while still harmful, may be effective for adults who want to give up cigarette smoking, which kills nearly half a million Americans each year.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the plan Wednesday, saying the agency is giving the manufacturers of Juul, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu, and Logic-which make up more than 97% of the United States e-cigarette market-60 days to submit their plans, USA Today reports.

The FDA's suggestions include rigorous age verification procedures for online direct sales (which Juul, the market leader, says it already has) and "discontinuing sales to retail establishments that have been subject to an FDA civil monetary penalty for sale of tobacco products to minors within the prior 12 months".

'We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, ' he said in today's announcement.

And if the trends in use that we're seeing right now continue, we're going to have to take even more dramatic actions. "We fully support and advocate for both legislation prohibiting sales of vaping products to minors and the ongoing FDA enforcement action against retailers selling e-vapor and other tobacco products to minors", the company said.

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Gottlieb is remarkably cavalier about throwing adult smokers under the bus in the name of preventing adolescents from experimenting with e-cigarettes. That initiative emerged from the agency's broader plan to regulate nicotine and tobacco, unveiled in July 2017, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The company, which sells pods with flavours such as mango, mint and creme, also defended such products, which it said help adult customers trying to quit traditional smoking. His group and several others are suing the FDA over a decision to delay federal review of most e-cigarettes. But it also sent letters to five leading manufacturers of "electronic nicotine delivery systems" (ENDS), insisting that they do more to keep their products away from teenagers. To address the trend, the agency set a 60-day deadline for the five major tobacco manufacturers to provide a plan describing how they will address the widespread youth access and use of their products.

The FDA discovered that top-selling brands like JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen XL, blu e-cigs, and Logic were popular among minors.

And some of the retailers that received warning letters are still advertising and selling these products, he said. But it added that "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch", spokeswoman Victoria Davis said. The company has more than two-thirds of the USA e-cigarette market, according to Nielsen data.

"In my view, they treated these issues like a public relations challenge rather than seriously considering their legal obligations, the public health mandate and the existential threat to these products, and as they did, these risks have mounted", Gottlieb said.

Many use fruit- or candy-flavored liquids that critics say appeal to kids, and risk addicting them to nicotine.

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