FDA Threatens to Ban E-Cigarettes If Teenagers Keep Using Them

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 14, 2018

"If they fail to do so, or if the plans do not appropriately address this issue, the FDA will consider whether it would be appropriate to revisit the current policy that results in these products remaining on the market without a marketing order from the agency".

The commissioner has repeatedly agreed that e-cigarettes can be an effective tool for adults trying to quit smoking, so his harsh words for the industry on Wednesday were all the more remarkable. That would block manufacturers from selling the flavored devices without explicit FDA authorization - a move that could force some products off the market, at least temporarily.

Gottlieb cited unreleased federal figures that he says will be made public in coming months. The FDA declined to release the figures publicly. More than 2 million middle and high school students were users of e-cigarettes in 2017, according to the agency.

"We must do more to stem what I see as an epidemic of use of e-cigs among teens, and deeply disturbing trends that show no sign of abating", he said.

"E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous - and risky - trend among teens", Gottlieb said in a statement.

The Minnesota Department of Health has now issued a health advisory regarding the latest evidence that early nicotine use increases the risks of addiction for youth now and later in life.

And if the trends in use that we're seeing right now continue, we're going to have to take even more dramatic actions. 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. 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 past year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975. "And they [teens] have adopted it", Gould said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strongly considering banning all flavored e-cigarettes. In some states, one must be 21 to buy them. "And we're seriously considering a policy change that would lead to the immediate removal of these flavored products from the market".

Produced by San Francisco-based Juul Labs Inc., Juul devices resemble a USB thumb drive and have become popular among students.

Shares of British American Tobacco, which owns the Vuse brand, closed up almost 6 percent, while shares of cigarette-maker Imperial Brands PLC, which owns Blu, rose more than 3 percent.

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".

"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", he added.

She said Altria could be well positioned because it has a long history of dealing with youth access to its products and has "limited/mature flavor profiles relative to Juul".

E-cigarettes are vapor-emitting devices that have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry in the USA despite little research on their long-term effects, including whether they are helpful in helping smokers quit.

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