Calling teen vaping 'epidemic,' officials weigh flavor ban

A man breathes in from an e-cigarette at a vape shop in London on Aug. 17 2018

A man breathes in from an e-cigarette at a vape shop in London on Aug. 17 2018

In his remarks, Gottlieb criticized e-cigarette manufacturers for failing to address teen use of their products.

"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.

US health officials are sounding the alarm about rising 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. The FDA said more than two million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes a year ago.

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

The FDA has also expanded "The Real Cost" public education campaign with messages focused on preventing youth use of e-cigarettes.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced aggressive measures against any retailers who are selling e-cigarettes to minors and warned manufacturers of a potential ban on flavored e-cigarette liquids. British American, which produces Camel cigarettes, climbed as much as 6.4 percent in London, the biggest intraday increase in 10 years. 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 risky products". If producers are no longer keen to function the overview, he said, the FDA will function it for them, with acceptable consequences.

The FDA's regulation of tobacco products has always been marked by twists and turns and years of debate. 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 unsafe.

Juul and four other producers, which Gottlieb said alter 97% of the market, are in actuality required to produce plans to mitigate formative years gross sales within 60 days or face capacity criminal or civil action.

In its bid to wean adult smokers from traditional cigarettes, the agency has sought to make a wider range of "reduced risk" tobacco products available to consumers.

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.

Gottlieb said the agency could also target "cartridge-based products" such as the USB-sized Juul, which is favored by teens and sold in convenience stores.

The appeal of e-cigarettes to teens is widespread and has raised alarms in other countries, including the UK.

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

Gottlieb said e-cigarettes have the potential to help adult smokers, but also said the industry's lack of action on youth use could lead to fewer choices for adults who want to purchase e-cigarettes.

The action is part of the FDA's Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan announced in April. "In enabling a path for e-cigarettes to offer a potentially lower risk alternative for adult smokers", he says, "we won't allow the current trends in youth access and use to continue, even if it means putting limits in place that reduce adult uptake of these products".

The FDA has given five companies - Vuse, Blu, JuuL, MarkTen XL, and Logic- 60 days to come up with a plan to keep teenagers from using its devices and sent warning letters to 1,300 companies that it caught selling the device to minors.

It's bad for business when regulators target one of your fastest-growing products - unless they also go after a competitor working to put you out of business.

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