Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

FDA Considering Ban on Flavored E-cigarettes

FDA Considering Ban on Flavored E-cigarettes

"We didn't predict what I now believe is an epidemic of e-cigarette use among teenagers", Gottlieb said.

"The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end", FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said. It's simply not tolerable. If the goal is to restrict e-cigarettes, he said, then one option is to make them more expensive.

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". But they say that this move like this could backfire because, you know, adults who are - use e-cigarettes are using them to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes, which are really risky. "We look forward to working with FDA and other stakeholders to address this important public health issue".

"Today we can see that this epidemic of addiction was emerging when we first announced our plan last summer", said Gottlieb.

A nationwide sting operation from June through August resulted in more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who sold Juul products and other e-cigarettes to kids.

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"FDA for years has repeatedly missed opportunities to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our children", said Chris Hansen, the organization's president.

Why is the use of e-cigarettes by young people so concerning?

Gottlieb suggested several steps the manufacturers might take to curtail youth use: revising sales and marketing practices, policing retailers who sell to kids, or removing flavored products from the market until the FDA reviews product applications that are due in 2022. And though the devices may help adults quit smoking, the report said evidence shows their use increases the risk of young people eventually moving to traditional cigarettes.

"I use the word epidemic with great care".

Youth vaping is an "epidemic", as far as the FDA is concerned, and if manufacturers don't submit "robust" plans to prevent kids from getting their hands on flavored e-cigarettes, the agency will take action-possibly going so far as to order the flavored products off the shelves.

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Logic Technology Development, owned by Japan Tobacco Inc, said it will demonstrate to the FDA "that Logic markets its products only to adults".

E-cigarette makers argue the devices help adult smokers give up cigarettes - potentially saving them from related illnesses - by giving a nicotine fix without the smoke and smell of combustible cigarettes.

Meanwhile, tobacco and cigarette industry leaders have doubled down on innovation to meet the demands of a more health-conscious and informed consumer. More than 2 million middle-school and high-school students used e-cigarettes in 2017. It was "the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA's history", according to the agency. Earlier this year, as criticism of the company mounted, it committed $30 million over the next three years for independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement.

However, there is little consensus about how to regulate the industry.

Despite the fact that they can not legally be sold to anyone under 18, e-cigarettes - hand-held vaporizers that create aerosols from liquids typically packed with nicotine and other chemicals, often including flavorings - are now the most popular tobacco product among high school students, recent federal data shows.

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The press released called on the FDA to immediately begin "requiring all e-cigarettes and other newly deemed tobacco products to go through the premarket review process required in the Tobacco Control Act, and removing all flavored tobacco products from the marketplace".

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