E-cigarette, Juul use addressed by FDA in new actions

16 September, 2018, 13:16 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

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.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency will soon release data that show a "substantial increase" in youth vaping this year compared with 2017.

As part of its broader enforcement efforts, the FDA said it issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors.

"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", JUUL CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement. The vast majority of businesses received only warnings from the FDA, while 131 faced civil fines, according to the FDA's data.

He also said the FDA is committed to policies "that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes" but "that work can't come at the expense of kids".

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Next week, the FDA will launch a campaign to warn young people about the danger of nicotine use. "We're going to have to take action". Despite the constant warnings that increased experimentation with e-cigarettes would lead to more smoking, consumption of conventional cigarettes by teenagers stubbornly continues to decline, reaching a record low a year ago in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975.

"The FDA may perchance perchance simply level-headed suddenly high-tail to manage flavored e-cigarettes, as an replacement of ready until 2022, because it is presently planning to function", Bloomberg said in a order.

"I wouldn't say they are harmless but we haven't had the opportunity to evaluate the real risks", he said. The announcement marks an about-face for the agency, which in 2016 granted a grace period for e-cigarettes already on the market until the manufacturers submitted products for FDA review. The FDA said more than two million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes a year ago.

In 2017, more than 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes.

The FDA is also zeroing in on online retailers which, it says, are "selling misleadingly labeled and/or advertised e-liquids resembling kid-friendly food products such as candy and cookies".

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Ana Navas-Acien, a Columbia University professor who also tracks the issue, said some form of government regulation is needed "as companies are unlikely to implement voluntary strategies to effectively cut use among youth". "The FDA may perchance perchance no longer tolerate an complete generation of children changing into hooked on nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to non-public unfettered access to these same merchandise", Gottlieb said.

"We're seriously considering a policy change that would lead to the immediate removal of these flavored products from the market", Gottlieb said.

"If a crackdown reduces the number of smokers switching to e-cigs, it would likely be bad for public health but financially a benefit for public tobacco companies", he later wrote in an email. Other big players are owned by big tobacco conglomerates; Camel parent British American Tobacco makes Vuse e-cigarettes, and Marlboro parent Altria makes MarkTen e-cigarettes.

At that time of the extension, Gottlieb said Wednesday, the agency didn't foresee the "epidemic'"of adolescent use that has become one of the plan's biggest challenges". But "the youth risk is paramount", he said.

The commissioner said flavors play a key role in peaking teen interest.

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Gottlieb echoed those concerns, saying he's anxious about the effects of nicotine in e-cigarettes on the developing brain, and that a proportion of teenagers who use the devices will end up on regular cigarettes.

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