US mulls ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid youth 'epidemic'

14 Septembre, 2018, 15:39 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • A Juul vaping system with accessory pods in varying flavors on May 02 2018 in Washington DC

So far, the FDA has issued warnings to Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL, and Logic.

The five e-cigarette brands account for more than 97% of e-cigarette sales, according to the FDA.

The coming crackdown could spell trouble for companies such as Juul. The four others are owned by cigarette companies.

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.

And not only is the agency putting a spotlight on underage use of e-cigarettes, it also says it's making a series of "historic" enforcement actions and the largest coordinated enforcement efforts in the FDA's history.

"They come out with cherry flavored vodka and birthday cake flavored vodka".

In the spring, the agency issued more than 60 warning letters and fines to businesses that sold JUUL brand products to minors.

In addition, the FDA on Wednesday issued 12 warning letters to online retailers for selling misleadingly labeled and/or advertised e-liquids resembling kid-friendly food products such as candy and cookies. Some retailers were additionally cited for illegally selling products to minors. Officials said 131 of the retailers will have to pay penalties. Those products include e-cigarettes.

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"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. The FDA is investigating whether some products on the market were introduced after the 2016 date and may need to halt sales, though didn't name which ones may be violating the law.

The FDA's main manufacturer target has been JUUL Labs.

Others, however, urged the FDA to go further and make good on its threat to limit flavors. The FDA is now developing a survey to determine what percentage of youth vapers are using Juul products, Gottlieb said.

FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb says he recognizes the benefits of e-cigarettes for adults trying to quit smoking combustible cigarettes, but "that work can't come at the expense of kids". And so the fear is that these things have become so popular that we might be addicting a whole new generation of kids to nicotine. The FDA declined to release the figures publicly. JUUL alone has more than 70% of e-cigarette sales in the USA according to recent Nielsen data.

CNN has reached out to Juul Labs for comment.

Members of Congress, particularly Democrats, have been pressuring the FDA to address the trends in young people's use of e-cigarettes, and Wednesday's announcement was met with praise by lawmakers such as Illinois Democratic Sen. As part of that plan, Gottlieb has suggested some smokers could be directed toward alternative products that deliver nicotine without the carcinogens of burning tobacco. The companies insist that the flavors are critical to helping nicotine-addicted adult smokers switch from conventional cigarettes. "By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the to fulfill our mission".

"But our public health mandate to prevent youth addiction has forced us to now revisit this element of our overall plan", he added. Above that message is a link to the company's youth-prevention efforts. We will provide the Agency with a comprehensive plan in 60 days as it requested in its letter to us.

Eaton, a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health, said that "in some circumstances, such as their use by nonsmoking adolescents and young adults, their adverse effects clearly warrant concern".

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