US FDA targets e-cigarettes over 'epidemic' of underage use

US officials call teen vaping ‘epidemic,’ weigh flavor ban

US officials call teen vaping ‘epidemic,’ weigh flavor ban

As regulators threatened to pull e-cigarettes from shelves if they do not address "widespread" teen use, shares of Altria Group Inc. "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end", he said. "It be simply no longer tolerable".

The organisation warned the country's five largest e-cigarette makers that their products - Juul, Blu, MarkTen, Vuse and Logic - could be banned unless the companies could prove within 60 days that they had effective plans to stop sales to children. They comprise more than 97 percent of the US market for e-cigarettes.

The FDA is now investigating whether manufacturers introduced certain e-cigarette products to the market after August 8, 2016, and may be subject to enforcement for marketing those products without premarket authorization.

Erik Nesson, an associate economics professor at Ball State University, said the will have to tread carefully in its crackdown because restricting the use of e-cigarettes could cause adolescents to flock to traditional tobacco cigarettes. "We're going to have to take actions". And it highlighted e-cigarettes' role as a way for adult smokers to transition off cigarettes.

That means it could be good news for Big Tobacco companies including Altria, Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco.

"We're committed to the comprehensive approach to address addiction to nicotine that we announced past year", he said.

In addition, the FDA issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who have illegally sold JUUL - an e-cigarette brand - and other e-cigarette products to minors nationwide. They also show that the nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive, and that the other chemicals added as part of the flavoring might be harmful.

Even more significant, notices sent Wednesday morning demand that five leading e-cigarette manufacturers, including San Francisco-based Juul Labs, submit plans within 60 days detailing ways to sharply curb sales to underage consumers.

Juul Labs, which controls about 70% of the market, said in its order that "acceptable flavors" play a job in adults changing their smoking habits, but added that they "are committed to combating underage employ of our product, and we want to be allotment of the resolution in preserving e-cigarettes out of the hands of children".

"I've been warning the e-cigarette industry for more than a year that they needed to do much more to stem these youth trends", he said.

Supermarket, drug and mass retail and fuel locations cited in the FDA action - primarily with warnings - included Coborn's, Dillons, Dollar General, Food Lion, Fred Meyer, Fred's, Fry's, H-E-B, Hannaford, Harps, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Rite Aid, Safeway, Smith's, Walgreens and Walmart. E-cigarettes are by far the most popular tobacco product among teens.

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.

The FDA has also been revamping its regulation on tobacco, including lowering the amount of nicotine in conventional cigarettes. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate, and work with the FDA to further strengthen, our youth access prevention policies and procedures.

"This is potentially the most important step FDA has taken to curtail youth use of e-cigarettes", said an emailed statement from Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

In April the agency launched a Youth Tobacco Prevention Opinion, created to take care of some of the crucial identified public successfully being dangers, equivalent to flavors, that make contributions to adolescent employ of e-cigarettes.

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