FDA warns vaping industry about possible ban of flavored products

FDA takes ‘historic action’ on youth e-cigarette ‘epidemic’	 	 	 			File an e-cigarette

FDA takes ‘historic action’ on youth e-cigarette ‘epidemic’ File an e-cigarette

As a result of its findings, the agency issued letters to the manufacturers of the five brands asking each company to submit within 60 days plans describing how they will address youth access and use of their products.

Gottlieb said if the five e-cigarette manufacturers that received FDA letters do not come up with plans to address youth use of their products, the agency might "reconsider" its decision to delay the date at which e-cigarettes will need agency approval to remain on the market.

"The FDA now believes that youth use of e-cigarettes is reaching epidemic proportions", the statement reads.

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes as it grapples with an "epidemic" of youth e-cigarette use that threatens to create a new generation of nicotine addicts, the agency's head said on Wednesday.

E-cigarettes have become the most commonly used tobacco product by kids, with more than 2 million middle and high school kids using the product in 2017, the federal government says.

The companies sell Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL, and Logic e-cigarette brands, which account for 97 percent of USA e-cigarette sales, according to FDA.

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In the absence of such plans, Gottlieb vowed "to revisit the FDA's exercise of enforcement discretion for products now on the market".

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' president Matthew Myers, the FDA has made a crucial step toward curtailing youth use of e-cigarettes.

The latest data, not yet published, show a 75 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students this year, compared with 2017.

The appeal of e-cigarettes is that users are said to inhale far fewer toxins than cigarette smokers.

The FDA extended an Obama era deadline that would have required e-cigarettes on the market by 2016 to be reviewed starting this year.

What's more, Gottlieb said the vaping industry appears to have turned a blind eye to the online practice of "straw purchasing" by retailers and individuals intent on buying vaping products and reselling them to minors.

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Today's announcement is part of a series of product standards the agency will roll out as part of their Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, which they launched earlier this year.

The burgeoning popularity of e-cigarettes among young smokers has caused traditional cigarette industry players a great deal of trouble by eating into their market share. Although the FDA had acted in May to limit the sale of such products, they were still being offered, with the offending labeling and advertising, by the 12 online retailers, several of whom were also cited for sales to minors.

"Adolescents and young adults are perceiving them to be a completely harmless or riskless alternative to combustible tobacco products", Kirshenbaum said. That would block manufacturers from selling the flavored devices without explicit FDA authorization - a move that could force some products off the market, at least temporarily. She said the enforcement is necessary - in particular, for a certain brand of e-cigarettes called "Juul".

"The legal standard for FDA premarket review of a new tobacco product includes consideration of whether the product would be appropriate for the protection of the public health". In a statement, they called for support for their bipartisan legislation, introduced in July, which would ban flavored cigars and place stringent controls on e-juice flavorings.

- Products created to help adults kick the habit may be encouraging addiction in kids. JUUL pods, which can be bought in fruit or candy flavors, contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. The companies insist that the flavors are critical to helping nicotine-addicted adult smokers switch from conventional cigarettes.

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