US officials call teen vaping an ‘epidemic,’ weigh flavor ban

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 12, 2018

Concerned with an "epidemic" surge in teen use of e-cigarettes, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration announced today a "historic action" against more than 1,300 retailers and five major manufacturers for their roles in perpetuating youth access to the devices in the US.

The move comes in response to an "epidemic" of young people using e-cigarettes.

In a speech at FDA headquarters, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency would also revisit its compliance policy that extended the dates for manufacturers of flavored e-cigarettes to submit applications for premarket authorization.

The government is now threatening to pull electronic cigarettes, such as Juul, a sleek little device that looks like a thumb drive and is popular with teens, off the market if the tobacco industry doesn't do more to combat growing use of such products among youth.

Gottlieb announced a number of steps the agency planned to take as part of a broader crackdown on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids.

FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said: "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end". The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies they declared have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids.

To gain clearance to return to the market, the companies would have to prove that the benefits to adults who use e-cigarettes in order to stop smoking traditional cigarettes outweigh the risks associated with youth vaping. "I'll be clear. The FDA won't tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products".

The owners of Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Of the 3.6 million middle and high school students who said in 2017 they were tobacco product users, 2.1 million used e-cigarettes, Bloomberg reports, citing CDC stats.

"The continued increase in youth reporting feeling "hooked" on vaping devices is concerning", he told CBS News.

The agency said it allowed the extra time to strike an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging the development of innovative tobacco products that may help older smokers quit.

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