The FDA Is Considering Pulling Some Flavored E-Cigarettes From the Market to Fight 'Epidemic' of Youth Vaping
13 September, 2018, 19:57
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 previous year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975.
Gottlieb recently began to ask whether the use of Juul and other similar products by kids is overshadowing any benefit to adult smokers using the devices to help them quit cigarettes.
Under Wednesday's announcement, the five largest e-cigarette manufacturers will have 60 days to produce plans to reverse underage use of their products. "As students start their new school year, I encourage educators, parents, and health care providers to come together and raise awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes on our youth, so we can quickly address these troubling trends and put a full-stop to them". The products being targeted are: Juul, MarkTen by the Altria Group, the maker of Malboro cigarettes in the US, Blu by Fontem Ventures, Vuse, by British American Tobacco, the company that makes Camel cigarettes, and a device called Logic.
Gottlieb said that e-cigarette manufacturers have been given ample time to change their ways.
The FDA says it has issued "more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers" as a result of "a large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors".
The FDA banned e-cigarette sales to minors in 2016, meaning they can not be sold to people under 18.
Lee said while he believes vaping is a good alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, it's still not for everyone.
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Other studies have indicated that while e-cigarettes may have milder effects on the lungs, they are just as bad - if not worse - for the cardiovascular system, raising risks of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Gottlieb would be on much firmer ethical ground if he took the opposite position: In trying to stop teenagers from vaping, we won't deny adult smokers access to products that could save their lives.
Under regulations developed by the Obama administration, manufacturers were supposed to submit most products for review by August 2018.
The FDA discovered that top-selling brands like JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen XL, blu e-cigs, and Logic were popular among minors. The company has more than two-thirds of the US e-cigarette market, according to Nielsen data.
If the plans fall short, the FDA could block sales of the products by enforcing a requirement that companies provide detailed design and health data about their products before marketing them. As part of today's action, the agency sent an additional 12 warning letters to another 12 companies that continue to sell the products. E-cigs deliver lower toxin levels than regular cigarettes, but users can inhale more of the addictive stimulant nicotine. JUUL pods, which can be bought in fruit or candy flavors, contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
On Wednesday, Gottlieb criticized e-cigarette companies' handling of the underage use problem, saying they approached it as "a public relations challenge rather than seriously considering their legal obligations".
The other companies also said they would work with the FDA on youth prevention efforts.
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