Tobacco Stocks to Gain on FDA E-Cig Crackdown

14 Septembre, 2018, 12:23 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

The organisation warned the country's five largest e-cigarette makers that their products - Juul, Blu, MarkTen, Vuse and Logic - could be banned unless the companies could prove within 60 days that they had effective plans to stop sales to children.

"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.

"We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion", Gottlieb said. "As students start their new school year, I encourage educators, parents, and health care providers to come together and raise awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes on our youth, so we can quickly address these troubling trends and put a full-stop to them".

Although e-cigarette companies like Juul say they are "not appropriate or intended for youth", many people point to their flavored options, small sizes and USB-charging as proof that teens are exactly who they're targeting. "We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine", they said.

"If young adults go online and buy 100 units of a product to sell to teens, that activity ought to be easy for a product manufacturer to identify", said Gottlieb.

But Gottlieb acknowledged Wednesday that the agency failed to predict an "epidemic of addiction" among youth, mainly driven by flavored products.

Juul, MarkTen, Vuse, Blu and Logic control 97% of the e-cigarette market, the FDA said.

Last year, the FDA announced that it would delay regulations that could have halted the sales of many e-cigarettes.

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The steps announced Wednesday are just the initial elements of these new efforts, Gottlieb said.

"What we have learned from our experience with cigarettes and other products, is it is important to restrict sales to kids, but if you make products appealing to kids, market them in ways to attract kids, you can be certain kids will get them", Myers told AFP.

"JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request", the company said in a statement. The agency will then determine whether the plans go far enough. JUUL pods, which can be bought in fruit or candy flavors, contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. They noted the survey did not ask specifically about Juul, a sleek, heavily-marketed e-cigarette brand that exploded onto the market and accounts for 70 percent of USA sales, according to analyst estimates.

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski also asked the FDA to end delays. "This 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".

US health officials today said teenage use of e-cigarette has reached "epidemic" levels and are calling on the industry to address the problem. "Hindsight, and the data that's now available to us, fully reveal these trends".

The FDA also targeted Juul retailers this spring, issuing 56 warning letters and six civil monetary penalties.

And some of the retailers that received warning letters are still advertising and selling these products, he said. Since 2017, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes, although that benefit hasn't been proven.

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