FDA takes action against e-cigarette epidemic among youth

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Millennials and hipsters beware, big government wants to come for your e-cigarettes if teenagers do not stop using them.

'We won't allow the current trends in youth access and use to continue, even if it means putting limits in place that reduce adult uptake of these products, ' Gottlieb said. It's simply not tolerable.

The majority of these violations were doled out for the sale of five e-cigarette products to those under 18 - Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL, and Logic. If the goal is to restrict e-cigarettes, he said, then one option is to make them more expensive. The agency had for decades had no power to regulate cigarettes or other tobacco products, but Congress passed a law in 2009 giving FDA limited power to do so. Many public-health groups believe such flavors entice young people to try the devices.

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

The FDA said Wednesday that it has issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers that illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors during a national sting operation at brick-and-mortar and online stores this summer. But spokeswoman Victoria Davis said "appropriate flavours play an important role in helping adult smokers switch".

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Last spring, the ALA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and four other public health groups filed a federal lawsuit against the FDA challenging the decision to delay federal review of e-cigarettes, including "candy flavored products that appeal to kids". If producers are no longer keen to function the overview, he said, the FDA will function it for them, with acceptable consequences. E-cigs deliver lower toxin levels than regular cigarettes, but users can inhale more of the addictive stimulant nicotine. The FDA's chairman said the problem had reached an "epidemic proportion", and manufacturers have been given 60 days to show how they would address it.

JUUL said Wednesday that it will work "proactively" with the and wants to be "part of the solution" in thwarting use among children, though it defended the merits of flavored e-cigarettes for other users. Hindsight, and the data now available to us, reveal these trends.

US health officials say teenage use of e-cigarette has reached "epidemic" levels and are calling on the industry to address the problem or risk having their flavored products pulled off the market.

Traders said proposed FDA action was less harsh than feared. It was "the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA's history", according to the agency.

The FDA has also been revamping its regulation on tobacco, including lowering the amount of nicotine in conventional cigarettes. As part of that plan, Gottlieb has suggested some smokers could be directed toward alternative products that deliver nicotine without the carcinogens of burning tobacco.

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The latest Youth Tobacco Use survey said almost 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 18 middle school students reported using a tobacco product a year ago, compared with almost 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 13 middle school students in 2011.

Meanwhile, tobacco and cigarette industry leaders have doubled down on innovation to meet the demands of a more health-conscious and informed consumer.

The press released called on the FDA to immediately begin "requiring all e-cigarettes and other newly deemed tobacco products to go through the premarket review process required in the Tobacco Control Act, and removing all flavored tobacco products from the marketplace".

The agency said it plans to unveil a new e-cigarette public education campaign targeted to youth next week, and will soon announce wider access to new nicotine replacement therapies to help more adult smokers quit cigarettes.

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