Teenagers' use of e-cigarettes at epidemic levels - US health officials

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

Today more middle-and- high school students (over two million) are vaping than smoking tobacco cigarettes. If the companies do not respond to the agency's satisfaction, the FDA said, it will consider removing their products from stores.

Officials say to date, the problem of underage use is at "epidemic proportions". "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end". The agency also imposed fines - ranging from $279 to $11,182 - on another 130 establishments for repeated offenses.

The agency also delivered letters to the five largest e-cigarette brands, asking the companies to tell the FDA within 60 days how they plan to curb youth access to their products.

"We're especially centered on the flavored e-cigarettes", said Gottlieb.

The FDA sent letters to 1,300 retailers selling e-cigarettes made by Juul, Vuse, Blu, MarkTen XL, and Logic Labs, which together make up 97% of the market. Many public-health groups believe such flavors entice young people to try the devices.

The agency said it allowed the extra time to strike an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging the development of innovative tobacco products that may help older smokers quit.

The agency will also be increasing federal enforcement actions on e-cig sales to minors in convenience stores and other retail sites, Gottlieb said. But this "fundamental turning point" will produce results only if the agency follows through by requiring all manufacturers to immediately undergo pre-market review at the FDA, he added.

Supporters of such a band contend that the use of fruit flavors encourage minors to try the products, and that then leads to them becoming addicted. 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. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth public-education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco.

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. Those products include e-cigarettes. But on the other hand, we don't want adults to be smoking tobacco cigarettes. In a order, they called for toughen for their bipartisan legislation, launched in July, which may perchance perchance presumably ban flavored cigars and situation stringent controls on e-juice flavorings. Tobacco stocks surged on the news. "And nicotine is addictive".

'Have to high-tail extra'Whereas applauding the FDA for this day's actions, some said the agency may perchance perchance simply level-headed amplify its efforts to defend the nation's formative years from the hazards of vaping. The delay was denounced by public-health groups, which have sued to restore the tighter timeline.

Manufacturers offer and market e-cigarette flavours that clearly appeal to minors, including candy and bubble gum flavours.




"We didn't foresee the extent of what's now become one of our biggest challenges", he said, in prepared remarks.

CBC News attempted to contact several stores selling e-cigarettes and related products but did not receive comment by publication time.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey raised similar concerns about e-cigarettes in July, when she said her office was investigating one of the biggest makers, San Francisco-based JUUL Labs Inc., for alleged sales to minors.

Last summer, the FDA delayed the application deadline, in an attempt to provide more clarity to manufacturers trying to navigate the process.

"Juul was a game changer", Myers said in an interview.

"Thousands of small-business vape shops across America do not engage in irresponsible marketing practices and don't even sell the products being targeted by the FDA with threatening letters", said Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Assn., a nonprofit organization that advocates for what it calls sensible regulation.

The company has stressed that the device was created for adults who want to transition from regular cigarettes.

In his speech, Gottlieb argued that the Trump administration's delay of application deadlines from 2018 to 2022 would not have changed where things now stand, since the products would have still been on the market for most of this year.

- Products created to help adults kick the habit may be encouraging addiction in kids.

Still, Myers said, there's "no way to put that genie back in the bottle" with youth use.

While other companies did not specifically address the FDA's action, in a series of tweets Altria highlighted its efforts to preventing youth tobacco use. No flavors now are restricted from other tobacco products.

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