FDA puts e-cigarette companies on notice over teen access

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

The "epidemic" perceived by the FDA is mainly an epidemic of e-cigarette experimentation, and even that trend seems to have reversed, judging from the latest NYTS results.

In 2017, Minnesota high-school tobacco use spiked to 26 percent with e-cigarette use by those in that age range increasing by 50 percent in the last three years, the health department said in a Wednesday, Sept. 12, news release. (BTI) and London-listed Imperial Brands, all closed up over 3%.

Stressing that the FDA need to properly evaluate the public health impacts such products have before they can approve them, Gottlieb noted that the speed in which e-cigarettes have appeared and spread hasn't given them enough time to do just that.

They also ordered five e-cigarette brands, including vaping giant JUUL, to submit plans to address teen use of their products. "This starts with the actions we're taking today to crack down on retail sales of e-cigarettes to minors", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. But health officials have warned nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains.

State health department officials continue to be anxious about JUUL, a device that looks like a flash drive, which they say dominates more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market.

"In addition, today the FDA also issued 12 warning letters to other online retailers that are selling misleadingly labeled and/or advertised e-liquids resembling kid-friendly food products such as candy and cookies".

Tiger leaps into early lead at PGA's BMW Championship
Woods and McIlroy still had to hit the shots and make the putts. "I hit it just as good and putt it just as good", Woods said . Keegan Bradley and Hideki Matsuyama both carded 64s and Rickie Fowler - playing alongside Woods - posted another 65.

Makers argue that e-cigarettes can help adult smokers transition away from burnt tobacco products.

Now, Gottlieb is coordinating the largest scale initiative to enforce regulations against selling e-cigarettes to-date.

Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog, in a research note, said Juul appears "most at risk" from the crackdown because of its "strong appeal to youth and the FDA's comments on flavors". 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. "It's that simple", Gottlieb said in a statement.

According to the Washington Post, the preliminary data is from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, and it shows a 75 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students in 2018 compared to 2017.

"JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request", a company spokeswoman said Wednesday. 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. The companies insist that the flavors are critical to helping nicotine-addicted adult smokers switch from conventional cigarettes. "In enabling a path for e-cigarettes to offer a potentially lower risk alternative for adult smokers", he says, "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". Such grim statistics prompted the FDA to recently propose that the level of nicotine, the addictive substance that gets people hooked, permitted in products should be brought down, either suddenly or gradually over time, to eventually wean people off smoking.

The FDA is in the process of rolling out a sweeping anti-smoking initiative created to make it easier for smokers to quit by cutting the nicotine levels in regular cigarettes.

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