US threatens ban to fight teenage vaping epidemic

Roman Schwartz
September 16, 2018

The FDA says more than two million middle and high schoolers regularly used the devices, and it wants both the makers and sellers to help curb this trend. If the companies do not respond to the agency's satisfaction, the FDA said, it will consider removing their products from stores.

In a speech to FDA employees, Gottlieb said that rapid spike in teen use, emerging sales trends and concerns among parents and teachers convinced him that underage use of e-cigarettes has become a full-blown crisis that must be forcefully addressed. The stressful and accelerating trajectory of employ we're seeing in formative years, and the following path to addiction, must always pause. Another 130 stores were issued fines from $279 to a high of $11,182 for repeat offenses.

"I believe certain flavors are one of the principal drivers of the youth appeal of these products", Gottlieb said.

The FDA sent letters to 1,300 retailers selling e-cigarettes made by Juul, Vuse, Blu, MarkTen XL, and Logic Labs, which together make up 97% of the market. "We look forward to working with FDA and other stakeholders to address this important public health issue".

Gottlieb cited preliminary data that has not yet been published, but which he said shows "youth use of e-cigs is rising very sharply".

Now, the FDA wants to crack down on flavored products.

Imperial Brands unit Fontem Ventures said it would work to further strengthen youth access prevention policies and procedures. "These five brands now comprise over 97 percent of the US market for e-cigarettes", the FDA said. And they could do something like just ban flavorings in e-cigarettes altogether.

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

JUUL said in a statement that it "will work proactively with FDA in response to its request".

And to help prevent the next child from using the product.

The FDA's regulation of tobacco products has always been marked by twists and turns and years of debate. Those products could include e-cigarettes, though the FDA has not given any company permission to advertise its device as a quit-smoking aid.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strongly considering banning all flavored e-cigarettes. Sales were allowed to continue in the interim.

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Following Wednesday's announcement, tobacco stocks surged then pared some of those gains on Thursday.

According to the company's website, the mission of JUUL products is to improve the lives of the world's 1 billion adult smokers.

'Have to high-tail extra'Whereas applauding the FDA for this day's actions, some said the agency may perchance perchance simply level-headed amplify its efforts to defend the nation's formative years from the hazards of vaping.

The FDA is dealing with a lawsuit from some public health groups for delaying until 2022 certain rules of electronic cigarettes.

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency would revisit a policy that extended the dates for some manufacturers of flavoured e-cigarettes to get FDA approval before selling their products.

Every time the survey is done the rate of e-cigarette use is going up.

At that time, Gottlieb said, the agency didn't foresee the "epidemic'"of adolescent use that has become one of the plan's biggest challenges". She said some lobbyists were telling legislators that prepackaged, uniform e-cigarettes had lesser health risks than the ones sold, sometimes in made-to-order fashion, in independent vapor shops. Those five brands account for about 97% of the USA e-cigarette market, the agency reported.

The FDA's main manufacturer target has been JUUL Labs. With its attack on vaping, the FDA is coming to the aid of Big Tobacco, whose main product, to which vaping provides an attractive alternative, kills millions of Americans. Similarly, Philip Morris rose the most in over three years.

And vaping products, including Juul and other brands, use fruity and candy-like flavors to attract users.

Still, Myers said, there's "no way to put that genie back in the bottle" with youth use.

In a June interview with CBS News, Juul's chief administrative officer Ashley Gould insisted that the company never intentionally marketed to teens.

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