USA plans crackdown on e-cigarette firms citing 'epidemic' teen use

USA plans crackdown on e-cigarette firms citing 'epidemic' teen use

USA plans crackdown on e-cigarette firms citing 'epidemic' teen use

"It's simply not tolerable". Gottlieb is talking about reneging on the FDA's four-year extension of the deadline for seeking regulatory approval to continue selling e-cigarettes, which would wreak havoc with a market that he concedes has great potential for reducing smoking-related disease and death.

Gottlieb called the action the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the agency's history.

"I think it became clear to FDA that if they didn't get their arms around this issue the use of these products by kids across the nation would undo decades of progress", said Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies they declared have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids. Since a year ago, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb and other federal officials have discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes, although that benefit hasn't been proven.

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.

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

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"I'll be clear. The FDA won't tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products", Gottlieb said.

"If young adults go online and buy 100 units of a product to sell to teens, that activity ought to be easy for a product manufacturer to identify", said Gottlieb.

"I certainly am in possession of evidence that warrants that", Gottlieb said, without disclosing the evidence.

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. 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.

"There is no question that a lot of the youth use is being driven by Juul", Gottlieb said.

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USA health officials are sounding the alarm about teenage use of e-cigarettes, calling the problem an "epidemic" and ordering manufacturers to reverse the trend or risk having their flavored vaping products pulled from the market. But spokeswoman Victoria Davis said "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch". "Hindsight, and the data now available to us, reveal these trends".

While e-cigarettes were first marketed to help adults quit smoking combustible cigarettes, they have now become a gateway to nicotine for teenagers.

The FDA also plans to revisit its policy that extended the dates for manufacturers of certain flavored e-cigarettes to apply for premarket authorization.

Investors in Juul's competitors appeared to welcome the FDA announcement.

And some of the retailers that received warning letters are still advertising and selling these products, he said.

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Gottlieb reiterated his belief that certain e-cigarette liquid flavors - including sweet ones such as mango and cucumber, popular among teenage Juul users - are particularly enticing and even marketed directly to children.

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