E-cig makers have 60 days to show they aren’t targeting minors

E-cig makers have 60 days to show they aren’t targeting minors

The Food and Drug Administration is looking to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes since the surge in teenage use of the products.

The government agency has ordered five leading brands, including Juul, which has 72% of the market as of mid-August, according to Wells Fargo, as well as BAT's Vuse, Altria's MarkTen, Imperial's Blue E-cigs and Japan Tobacco's Logic, to submit plans within 60 days detailing how they will combat excessive teen use of their products. 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. "Inevitably what we are going to have to contemplate are actions that may narrow the off-ramp for adults who see e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to combustible tobacco in order to close the on-ramp for kids", he told reporters.

As regulators threatened to pull e-cigarettes from shelves if they do not address "widespread" teen use, shares of Altria Group Inc. In just three years, it has captured about 70 percent of the e-cigarette market, according to Bloomberg. And it highlighted e-cigarettes' role as a way for adult smokers to transition off cigarettes.

"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", Gottlieb said.

On the other side of the public health ledger, there is little reason to think that restricting information about ENDS, making them less cool, or banning e-liquid flavors would reduce morbidity and mortality among today's adolescents, either now or in the future.

It marks a shift in the agency's tone on e-cigarettes.

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.

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"I believe certain flavors are one of the principal drivers of the youth appeal of these products".

"Far too many teens are being introduced at an early age to e-cigarettes", said Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius in the release. If underage consumption does not justify a ban on tobacco cigarettes (and I don't think it does), it can not possibly justify a ban on competing products that are much safer.

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

"JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request". More than 2 million middle-school and high-school students used e-cigarettes in 2017.

The FDA plans to step up enforcement actions to monitor, penalize and prevent e-cigarette sales in convenience stores and other retail sites. That initiative emerged from the agency's broader plan to regulate nicotine and tobacco, unveiled in July 2017, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. 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.

The FDA's regulation of tobacco products has always been marked by twists and turns and years of debate. The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies they declared have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids.

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