United States calls teen e-cig use an 'epidemic'

Pearl Mccarthy
September 13, 2018

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 a year ago in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975.

Now, Gottlieb is coordinating the largest scale initiative to enforce regulations against selling e-cigarettes to-date.

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.

The FDA is giving the five top-selling e-cigarette brands - Juul Labs Inc., Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu, and Logic - 60 days to provide plans for how they will mitigate sales to minors.

Budding research on e-cigarettes also suggests that these flavors contain terpenes that may be more damaging to the lungs than other flavors are.

'We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, ' he said in today's announcement. "It's now clear to me, that in closing the on-ramp to kids, we're going to have to narrow the off-ramp for adults who want to migrate off combustible tobacco and onto e-cigs".

"By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors", the company said in a statement.

In April, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education sent a joint letter and toolkit to school districts across the state, warning them of the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping products and providing them with resources for addressing the issue in schools.

How to sign up for Verizon’s 5G home internet service
Installation and a free router is also included, along with router upgrades when they become available in 2019. Verizon 5G Home subscribers also get first dibs on purchasing new 5G mobile devices when they hit the market.

"I have grown increasingly concerned around what we see as rising youth use in these products, and I'm disappointed in the actions the companies have taken to try to address this", Gottlieb said in an interview. He said in June tobacco companies "better step up and step up soon" but he didn't divulge what consequences the industry could face - until now.

"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.

Other studies have indicated that while e-cigarettes may have milder effects on the lungs, they are just as bad - if not worse - for the cardiovascular system, raising risks of heart disease and high blood pressure. 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.

The FDA also announced 1,300 warning letters and fines to online and traditional stores that have illegally sold Juul and other e-cigarettes to minors.

"The agency is asking each company to submit to FDA within 60 days plans describing how they will address the widespread youth access and use of their products", the FDA said in a release. "Juul is a product for adult smokers".

The FDA is trying to set up a framework for regulating e-cigarettes.

The FDA moves come as it seeks to balance its approach on e-cigarettes, which can be used to wean lifelong smokers onto less harmful nicotine products, but also risk drawing a new generation to nicotine addiction.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER