Too many teens are using Juuls, according to the FDA

The FDA recognized the impact its actions might have on adults trying to stop smoking, Gottlieb said, but emerging research on how flavored products encourage excessive use by young people shows action must be taken. But at the same time, 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.

"E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous - and risky - trend among teens", the commissioner said in a statement. "We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine".

Despite the fact that they can not legally be sold to anyone under 18, e-cigarettes - hand-held vaporizers that create aerosols from liquids typically packed with nicotine and other chemicals, often including flavorings - are now the most popular tobacco product among high school students, recent federal data shows. It reserved its strongest action for the manufacturers themselves.

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

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency will soon release data that show a "substantial increase" in youth vaping this year compared with 2017.

The agency has asked that the five top-selling national e-cigarette brands submit plans on how they will address youth access and use of their products. 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 steps announced Wednesday are just the initial elements of these new efforts, Gottlieb said. But this "fundamental turning point" will produce results only if the agency follows through by requiring all manufacturers to immediately undergo pre-market review at the FDA, he added. The companies insist that the flavors are critical to helping nicotine-addicted adult smokers switch from conventional cigarettes.

"We're especially focused on the flavored e-cigarettes".

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The American Medical Association's Dr. Barbara McAneny also said the FDA could do much more, pledging that the association would "continue to advocate for more stringent policies". "Hindsight, and the data that's now available to us, fully reveal these trends".

Jefferies is also bullish on how the FDA's actions will affect major tobacco players.

The FDA said it has sent more than 1,100 warning letters to stores for the illegal sale of e-cigarettes to under-age vapers and issued fines to another 131 shops.

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.

And some of the retailers that received warning letters are still advertising and selling these products, he said.

Investors in Juul's competitors appeared to welcome the FDA announcement.

"While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes, that work can't come at the expense of kids", Gottlieb said.

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