US officials call teen vaping 'epidemic,' weigh flavor ban

A Juul vaping system with accessory pods in varying flavors on May 02 2018 in Washington DC

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 previous year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975. "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end", he said.

Under Wednesday's announcement, the five largest e-cigarette manufacturers will have 60 days to produce plans to reverse underage use of their products. And they're asking the companies to do things like, you know, stop marketing these things to kids and stop supplying stores that are found to be illegally selling them to underage young people and also, you know, stop the online sales of e-cigarettes to kids. "We're going to have to take actions".

"The FDA may perchance perchance simply level-headed suddenly high-tail to manage flavored e-cigarettes, as an replacement of ready until 2022, because it is presently planning to function", Bloomberg said in a order.

"This day we can gape that this epidemic of addiction changed into as soon as emerging when we first launched our conception final summer", said Gottlieb.

In addition to its challenge to manufacturers, the FDA also announced it had fined around 130 retailers who were caught selling e-cigarettes to underage individuals and sent almost 1,200 more warning letters to other retailers. "Appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch", Burns said in a statement.

As of September 1, the FDA said it has conducted 978,290 retail inspections, issued 77,180 warning letters to retailers for violating the law, and initiated 18,560 civil money penalty cases in its checks of retail establishments selling tobacco products.

The burgeoning popularity of e-cigarettes among young smokers has caused traditional cigarette industry players a great deal of trouble by eating into their market share. Failing to do so, or making unsatisfactory efforts, "could mean requiring these brands to remove some or all of their flavored products that may be contributing to the rise in youth use from the market until they receive premarket authorization and otherwise meet all of their obligations under the law", the FDA statement says.

More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts
People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., September 13, 2018. Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to.

The decision was criticized by anti-smoking advocates who say e-cigarette makers are targeting kids with candy and fruit flavors and marketing that portrays their products as flashy, handheld gadgets.

"E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous - and risky - trend among teens", Gottlieb said in a statement. "Hindsight, and the data that's now available to us, fully reveal these trends".

On Wednesday, the commissioner of Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb declared that youth vaping is an "epidemic," and also said to the the agency that he will halt sales of flavored electronic cigarettes if the major manufacturers can't prove they are doing enough to keep them out of the hands of children and teens.

However, there is little consensus about how to regulate the industry. 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.

In the US, about 12 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes at least once a month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection estimated in 2017. Regulators said it was the largest coordinated crackdown in the agency's history.

The agency said it plans to unveil a new e-cigarette public education campaign targeted to youth next week, and will soon announce wider access to new nicotine replacement therapies to help more adult smokers quit cigarettes. Other big players are owned by big tobacco conglomerates; Camel parent British American Tobacco makes Vuse e-cigarettes, and Marlboro parent Altria makes MarkTen e-cigarettes.

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