Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

FDA takes ‘historic action’ on youth e-cigarette ‘epidemic’

FDA takes ‘historic action’ on youth e-cigarette ‘epidemic’

According to the Washington Post, the preliminary data is from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, and it shows a 75 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students in 2018 compared to 2017. "So, now, I'm able to tell them, 'I no longer smoke cigarettes'". Regulators said it was the largest coordinated crackdown in the agency's history.

In a statement, Juul Labs said "appropriate flavors" play a role in adults changing their smoking habits, but said it would work with the FDA: "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".

The FDA found top-selling brands were popular among minors.

'We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, ' he said in today's announcement. The products being targeted are: Juul, MarkTen by the Altria Group, the maker of Malboro cigarettes in the US, Blu by Fontem Ventures, Vuse, by British American Tobacco, the company that makes Camel cigarettes, and a device called Logic.

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"We're especially focused on the flavored e-cigarettes", said Gottlieb.

American health officials threatened to ban flavoured e-cigarettes, warning of a teenage vaping "epidemic".

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.

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. "These five brands now comprise over 97 percent of the USA market for e-cigarettes", the FDA said. 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.

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"We need to go further", said Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist who has worked for years to reduce tobacco use.

The owners of Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes", Juul said in a statement. We think right now we can step into this market with a combination of enforcement actions against the places that we know kids are getting access to these products, which includes retail establishments that are selling them without putting proper restrictions in place or without carding minors, as well as the online sites, where we think that there are a straw purchases being made, where - where someone's going online, buying a lot of these products, and then reselling them to kids.

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.

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"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".

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