Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

FDA may ban flavored e-cigarettes, cites teen use 'epidemic'

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic' The FDA Is Considering Pulling Some Flavored E-Cigarettes From the Market to Fight 'Epidemic' of Youth Vaping
Anna Jefferson | 14 September, 2018, 12:27

The FDA's suggestions include rigorous age verification procedures for online direct sales (which Juul, the market leader, says it already has) and "discontinuing sales to retail establishments that have been subject to an FDA civil monetary penalty for sale of tobacco products to minors within the prior 12 months".

"I use the word epidemic with great care", Gottlieb said.

Multiple studies have showed e-cig users are twice as likely to become cigarette smokers, the health department said. Those five brands account for about 97% of the US e-cigarette market, the agency reported.

"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.

Youth vaping is an "epidemic", as far as the FDA is concerned, and if manufacturers don't submit "robust" plans to prevent kids from getting their hands on flavored e-cigarettes, the agency will take action-possibly going so far as to order the flavored products off the shelves.

It marks a shift in the agency's tone on e-cigarettes.

"The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end", Scott Gottlieb, head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said. The FDA said more than 2 million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2017.

Then a year ago, a few months after being sworn in as commissioner, Gottlieb announced a new comprehensive tobacco framework. 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.

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British American's R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, said it will comply with the FDA request, adding that "youth tobacco prevention is a priority for our companies". Big tobacco has yet to find a productive way to meaningfully compete against Juul, making the FDA's move a positive for the companies, according to Cowen analyst Vivien Azer.

"We're especially focused on the flavored e-cigarettes".

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. "Hindsight, and the data that's now available to us, fully reveal these trends".

"Juuling", along with "vaping", has become a common term for e-cigarette use by teenagers on social media and at US high schools. "This could mean requiring these brands to remove some or all of their flavored products that may be contributing to the rise in youth use from the market until they receive premarket authorization and otherwise meet all of their obligations under the law".

Shortly after the launch, the FDA cracked down on e-liquids marketed to resemble kid-friendly foods like juice boxes, candy and cookies.

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

The company, which sells pods with flavours such as mango, mint and creme, also defended such products, which it said help adult customers trying to quit traditional smoking.

The agency said it plans to unveil a new e-cigarette public education campaign targeted to youth next week, and will soon announce wider access to new nicotine replacement therapies to help more adult smokers quit cigarettes.

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