US mulls ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid youth 'epidemic'

  • US mulls ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid youth 'epidemic'

US mulls ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid youth 'epidemic'

It will also "re-visit" the policy it announced previous year, which gave e-cigarette companies more time to apply for regulatory approval. So we don't want to - we don't want to extinguish this opportunity entirely, because we do see some potential benefit from having these products on the market as a way for adult smokers to get access to nicotine, without all the harmful effects of combusting tobacco. Flavored e-cigarettes are said to be a tool that helps adults quit smoking traditional cigarettes, the main example of a plus the product can claim.

"I have grown increasingly concerned around what we see as rising youth use in these products, and I'm disappointed in the actions the companies have taken to try to address this", Gottlieb said at a press briefing. "We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine". Gottlieb would be on much firmer ethical ground if he took the opposite position: In trying to stop teenagers from vaping, we won't deny adult smokers access to products that could save their lives.

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. Gottlieb is talking about reneging on the FDA's four-year extension of the deadline for seeking regulatory approval to continue selling e-cigarettes, which would wreak havoc with a market that he concedes has great potential for reducing smoking-related disease and death.

The Vapor Technology Association, which says it represents over 600 vaping manufacturers and distributors, also supports limiting teen access, but added that the new actions by the FDA ventured "into unsafe territory" by not being in the best interest of public health.

The agency said it continues to check retail stores that sell tobacco, to ensure they are in compliance with federal laws.

"If young adults go online and buy 100 units of a product to sell to teens, that activity ought to be easy for a product manufacturer to identify", said Gottlieb.

Manufacturers say they've changed from the days of Joe Camel, he said.

And vaping products, including Juul and other brands, use fruity and candy-like flavors to attract users.

He said "everything is on the table", including criminal charges.

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

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Hurricane Florence and the FDA considering a ban of all flavored e-cigarettes.

At that time, Gottlieb said, the agency didn't foresee the "epidemic'"of adolescent use that has become one of the plan's biggest challenges".

The steps announced Wednesday are just the initial elements of these new efforts, Gottlieb said. "Hindsight, and the data that's now available to us, fully reveal these trends".

As regulators threatened to pull e-cigarettes from shelves if they do not address "widespread" teen use, shares of Altria Group Inc. But spokeswoman Victoria Davis said "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch". "Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing", Gottlieb tells USA Today.

Investors in Juul's competitors appeared to welcome the FDA announcement. The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies they declared have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids.