Calling teen vaping an 'epidemic,' officials weigh flavor ban

A Juul vaping system with accessory pods in varying flavors on May 02 2018 in Washington DC

Regulators are considering restricting e-cigarette manufacturers from selling flavored nicotine liquid or forcing the products to undergo an agency review, as reported by CNBC. Former smokers who vape may return to traditional cigarettes if flavored e-cigarettes are no longer available.

USA health officials are sounding the alarm about teenage use of e-cigarettes, calling the problem an "epidemic" and ordering manufacturers to reverse the trend or risk having their flavored vaping products pulled from the market.

The FDA also announced the results of its largest enforcement effort yet against e-cigarettes.

"Kids should not smoke or use any tobacco products". 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 a year ago in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975.

Why is the use of e-cigarettes by young people so concerning?

In a speech at FDA headquarters, commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency would also revisit a policy that extended the dates for some manufacturers of flavoured e-cigarettes to get FDA approval before selling their products. And in fact, the FDA's announced a plan to basically slash the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to try to wean more Americans off tobacco cigarettes. "The availability of e-cigarettes can not come at the expense of addicting a new generation of youth onto nicotine, and it won't", he said in an interview.

A Juul spokesperson, Victoria Davis, argued in a statement to Reuters that "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch".

British American's R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, said it will comply with the FDA request, adding that "youth tobacco prevention is a priority for our companies".

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

One possible remedy, Gottlieb said in an interview, would be to revoke the application delay for cartridge-based e-cigarettes, the most common type used by young people.

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"Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes". And the agency says this is the largest coordinated enforcement action the FDA's ever taken.

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

Gottlieb said the FDA identified the influence this can non-public on adults attempting to cease smoking, but said that emerging overview on how flavored merchandise assist excessive employ by children shows action may perchance perchance simply level-headed be taken.

"We are committed to preventing underage use of our product, and we want to be part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people", JUUL CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement.

In April the agency launched a Youth Tobacco Prevention Opinion, created to take care of some of the crucial identified public successfully being dangers, equivalent to flavors, that make contributions to adolescent employ of e-cigarettes.

The FDA's announcement came a day after an industry group and e-cigarette company urged the D.C. Circuit at oral arguments to overturn the FDA's decision to regulate e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products similarly.

Gottlieb said the FDA will continue to monitor underage trends and promised to release new data on e-cigarette use by minors in the coming months.

Since 2017, FDA officials have discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes.

This use by children and teens is a concern to the FDA because the developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to nicotine addiction. But it also sent letters to five leading manufacturers of "electronic nicotine delivery systems" (ENDS), insisting that they do more to keep their products away from teenagers.

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