FDA Cracks Down On Top E-Cig Brands To Curb Teen Vaping Epidemic

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FDA Cracks Down On Top E-Cig Brands To Curb Teen Vaping Epidemic

By Victoria Kim 09/14/18

Around 1,300 warning letters have been sent to retailers of e-cigarettes found to be illegally selling e-cigarette products to minors.

Image: 
young woman vaping in a smoke shop

The Food and Drug Administration, concerned about the rising numbers of teenagers who “vape,” is cracking down on major e-cigarette brands to try and stop this trend.

In a press release issued on Wednesday (Sept. 12), the FDA announced that it is requesting major brands—JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu, and Logic—to submit plans to “immediately and substantially reverse these trends” of young people vaping.

If they do not comply within 60 days, the agency “may require the companies to revise their sales and marketing practices, to stop distributing products to retailers who sell to kids and to stop selling some or all of their flavored e-cigarette products until they clear the application process,” according to CNBC.

The latest crackdown is the result of a nationwide undercover sweep over the summer. Since then, 1,300 warning letters have been sent to retailers of e-cigarettes found to be illegally selling e-cigarette products to minors.

The vast majority of the violations were for the illegal sale of JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu and Logic—which account for over 97% of the U.S. e-cigarette market.

Initially, e-cigarettes were touted as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes for people who want to quit. But growing use among young people is now a concern for the FDA.

“In enabling a path for e-cigarettes to offer a potentially lower-risk alternative for adult smokers, we won’t allow the current trends in youth access and use to continue, even if it means putting limits in place that reduce adult uptake of these products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in the press release.

“We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, and we must adjust certain aspects of our comprehensive strategy to stem this clear and present danger,” Gottlieb declared, going on to say that promoting smoking cessation can’t come “at the expense of kids.”

“We cannot allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine,” he added.

In the coming weeks, the FDA said it will take additional action under its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, and ramp up enforcement of the illegal sale of these products to kids.

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