US threatens ban to fight teenage vaping epidemic

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

In addition to its challenge to manufacturers, the FDA also announced it had fined around 130 retailers who were caught selling e-cigarettes to underage individuals and sent almost 1,200 more warning letters to other retailers. He gave five e-cigarette manufacturers - the makers of Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL, and Logic vaping products - two months to submit plans to "immediately and substantially reverse these trends".

But, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes JUUL has long treated the issues of teen nicotine addiction like a "public relations challenge" rather than seriously considering their legal obligations and public health mandate that these products bring.

This use by children and teens is a concern to the FDA because the developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to nicotine addiction. The agency extended that reach to other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in August 2016 and allowed those products that were already on the market to continue sales while preparing an application for FDA clearance. The vast majority of businesses received only warnings from the FDA, while 131 faced civil fines, according to the FDA's data.

Health advocates have anxious about the popularity of vaping products among kids and the potential impact on smoking rates in the future.

"The FDA should immediately move to regulate flavored e-cigarettes, instead of waiting until 2022, as it is now planning to do", Bloomberg said in a statement. His group and several other medical and anti-smoking groups are suing the FDA over a decision to delay federal review of most e-cigarettes.

"We're now actively evaluating how we'd implement such a policy", Gottlieb said. Instead, the FDA should act quickly to use its pre-market review authority to ensure products like JUUL are properly reviewed and regulated before they ever get to market.

Fervent on an "epidemic" surge in teen employ of e-cigarettes, the highest of the US Meals and Drug Administration launched this day a "ancient action" against more than 1,300 stores and five predominant producers for their roles in perpetuating formative years access to the devices in the US.

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The FDA claims that "more than 2 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2017", but Reason disputes this number, noting that it includes respondents who vaped even once during the previous month.

In addition, the 12 issued warning letter to other online retailers address the selling of misleading labeled and/or advertising e-liquids resembling kid-friendly food products such as candy and cookies.

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".

If we had an affordable, easy-to-use device that eliminated 90 percent of the health problems associated with HIV or cervical cancer in exchange for relatively minor risks and side effects, we would consider it monstrous to withhold that product from the market. The academy said Gottlieb has the authority to intervene in the market to protect minors, and any further delay runs the risk that "a generation of young people will become addicted to these unsafe products".

The steps announced Wednesday are just the initial elements of these new efforts, Gottlieb said. If they can't, the flavored products could be pulled from store shelves.

According to the company's website, the mission of JUUL products is to improve the lives of the world's 1 billion adult smokers.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said the steps announced by Gottlieb "have the potential to make a fundamental difference". "Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing", Gottlieb tells USA Today.

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