U.S. mulls ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid youth 'epidemic'

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

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now considers the increasingly prolific use of e-cigarettes amongst younger people as an "epidemic". The products being targeted are: Juul, Altria Group Inc.'s MarkTen, Fontem Ventures's blu, British American Tobacco's Vuse and Logic. The four others are owned by cigarette companies.

Since the surge in teen use of the products began, the FDA and Juul have battled over the products consistently.

In his remarks to FDA staffers, Gottlieb acknowledged that some adults might get hurt by a crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes.

And vaping products, including Juul and other brands, use fruity and candy-like flavors to attract users. The agency also imposed fines - ranging from $279 to $11,182 - on another 130 establishments for repeated offenses.

And the agency has issued more than 135 No-Tobacco-Sale Order Complaints, which, according to the FDA, "can result in retailers being prohibited from selling tobacco products for specified periods of time". "And as far as the liquids we carry, we do not pick up brands that have the potential to appeal to children, because we have that responsibility", said Hutsell.

"Even though a 2017 BPS Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows the overall percentage of district students who reported using electronic cigarettes declined by 9 percent, we are always concerned about students engaging in risky behaviors", BPS said in an April letter to the community.

The FDA is also targeting retailers who have sold e-cigarettes to minors.

Also, the agency is probing manufacturer's online shops for "straw" purchases in which buyers resell products to minors.

"Critically, FDA for the first time recognizes that it must be addressed by requiring that manufacturers remove flavored products from the market unless those products have been reviewed by FDA, alter current marketing practices, eliminate online sales and take significant steps to curtail illegal sales to kids", Myers said.

Although e-cigarettes can potentially help adults quit smoking regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products, the CDC warns they are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults that don't use tobacco products.

"We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine", he said.

The commissioner has repeatedly agreed that e-cigarettes can be an effective tool for adults trying to quit smoking, so his harsh words for the industry on Wednesday were all the more remarkable. Ingredients also include glycerol, propylene glycol, natural oils, extracts and flavor and benzoic acid.

"JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request", a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

"Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes", Juul said in a statement. But it added that "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch", spokeswoman Victoria Davis said. But "the youth risk is paramount", he said. Earlier this year, as criticism of the company mounted, it committed $30 million over the next three years for independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement. We will provide the Agency with a comprehensive plan in 60 days as it requested in its letter to us. "And we're seriously considering a policy change that would lead to the immediate removal of these flavored products from the market".

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