Health Care

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

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

The FDA says more than two million middle and high schoolers regularly used the devices, and it wants both the makers and sellers to help curb this trend. A government-commissioned report in January found "substantial evidence" that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try cigarettes.

Juul owns about 72 percent of the USA market for e-cigarette sales, according to Wells Fargo.

"The FDA will not tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a trade-off for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products", he said.

He said the FDA move could "represent a fundamental turning point" if the agency requires "all of these products undergo premarket review now, not four years from now". "Inevitably what we are going to have to contemplate are actions that may narrow the off-ramp for adults who see e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to combustible tobacco in order to close the on-ramp for kids", he told reporters. They noted the survey did not ask specifically about Juul, a sleek, heavily-marketed e-cigarette brand that exploded onto the market and accounts for 70 percent of US sales, according to analyst estimates.

The appeal of e-cigarettes to teens is widespread and has raised alarms in other countries, including the UK.

These levels of nicotine are highly addictive, particularly to the developing brains of children and teenagers.

During the 60-day waiting period, the FDA plans to investigate the five companies' marketing and sales practices, with possible "boots on the ground inspections", Gottlieb said. Lisa Murkowski also asked the FDA to end delays. The FDA is demanding what Gottlieb describes as "plans to immediately and substantially reverse" the "clear and present danger" of adolescent vaping.

"In addition, today the FDA also issued 12 warning letters to other online retailers that are selling misleadingly labeled and/or advertised e-liquids resembling kid-friendly food products such as candy and cookies". Altria Group Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc had the biggest one-day percentage gain in about a decade.

San Francisco-based Juul, which commands over 60 percent of the e-cigarette market, said it is working to prevent underage use of its products but added that flavors can help adult smokers quit cigarettes.

Imperial Brands unit Fontem Ventures said it would work to further strengthen youth access prevention policies and procedures. "Juul is a product for adult smokers".

The FDA discovered that top-selling brands like JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen XL, blu e-cigs, and Logic were popular among minors.

The FDA is trying to set up a framework for regulating e-cigarettes.

Gottlieb called the action the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the agency's history.

The FDA is in the process of rolling out a sweeping anti-smoking initiative created to make it easier for smokers to quit by cutting the nicotine levels in regular 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". "And they [teens] have adopted it", Gould said.



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