FDA puts e-cigarette companies on notice over teen access

FDA puts e-cigarette companies on notice over teen access

FDA puts e-cigarette companies on notice over teen access

The warning from the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday cited recent data pointing to a sharp rise in underage use of the devices, including Juul, Vuse and others.

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. "This starts with the actions we're taking today to crack down on retail sales of e-cigarettes to minors", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

In an effort to reverse that trend, the FDA on Wednesday sent letters to manufacturers of five e-cigarette brands often used by kids - Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic - requesting that they draw up plans for limiting youth access to their products within 60 days. So we don't want to - we don't want to extinguish this opportunity entirely, because we do see some potential benefit from having these products on the market as a way for adult smokers to get access to nicotine, without all the harmful effects of combusting tobacco. The premise of such threats is that the interests of adults who might want to switch from smoking to a far less hazardous form of nicotine consumption should be sacrificed for the sake of curtailing e-cigarette use by minors, which is already illegal.

The Vapor Technology Association, which says it represents over 600 vaping manufacturers and distributors, also supports limiting teen access, but added that the new actions by the FDA ventured "into unsafe territory" by not being in the best interest of public health. But when it comes to minors, he said, even e-cigarettes should be off limits.

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It will also "re-visit" the policy it announced past year, which gave e-cigarette companies more time to apply for regulatory approval.

"Anybody who comes in and we think he is like 18 or 19, we're going to ask him to show us the ID".

Gottlieb said the FDA recognized the impact this might have on adults trying to stop smoking, but said that emerging research on how flavored products encourage excessive use by young people shows action must be taken. The FDA's delay on that requirement has allowed the industry to flourish with little oversight. "Juul is a product for adult smokers".

The health department said 19 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes. Instead, the agency gave extensions to new and existing vaping products, giving them until August 2022 to submit information to support their products' safety and efficacy as switching devices. "Hindsight, and the data now available to us, reveal these trends".

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San Francisco-based Juul, which commands over 60 percent of the e-cigarette market, said it is working to prevent underage use of its products but added that flavors can help adult smokers quit cigarettes.

The plan will address some of the known public health risks of these products, including the role of flavors.

Investors in Juul's competitors appeared to welcome the FDA announcement. "Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing", Gottlieb tells USA Today.

Gottlieb announced a number of steps the agency plans to take as part of a broader crackdown on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors.

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