FDA Considering Ban on Flavored E-cigarettes

The latest data, not yet published, show a 75 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students this year compared to 2017.

The agency said it continues to check retail stores that sell tobacco, to ensure they are in compliance with federal laws.

American health officials threatened to ban flavoured e-cigarettes, warning of a teenage vaping "epidemic".

"The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end", Gottlieb told agency staffers and reporters. "These five brands now comprise over 97 percent of the US market for e-cigarettes", the FDA said.

The agency has so far issued fines to 131 retailers, ranging from $279 to $11,182.

The agency may also ban sales of some flavored e-cigarette products, which Gottlieb says are particularly appealing to underage users, and consider shortening a grace period that now gives e-cigarette companies until 2022 to apply for FDA approval. Shares of cigarette and e-cigarette maker Altria Group also rose more than 6 percent, while Philip Morris International shares were up 4 percent. "I think education is the answer to fixing the problem, just like how we have educated young people about alcohol and other tobacco products over the years", Delaney said.

Gottlieb's action drew immediate praise from a major tobacco-control organization, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strongly considering banning all flavored e-cigarettes. Regulators are considering restricting e-cigarette manufacturers from selling flavored nicotine liquid or forcing the products to undergo an agency review, as reported by CNBC. However, a recent study in Pediatrics discovered that teens who smoked e-cigarettes had higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals in their bodies than non-smokers. "We need to do everything we can to address this escalating risk of addiction for youth, but we can't do this alone".

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Gottlieb warned action may require companies to change their sales and marketing practices; stop distributing products to retailers who sell to kids; and remove "some or all of their flavored e-cig products from the market". They're generally considered a less risky alternative to regular cigarettes.

"JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request", the company said in a statement.

The FDA's regulation of tobacco products has always been marked by twists and turns and years of debate.

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. Sales were allowed to continue in the interim.

"We're committed to the comprehensive approach to address addiction to nicotine that we announced previous year".

The FDA point out that, despite lacking tobacco and plenty of the nasties present in normal cigarettes, nicotine itself is hardly a benign substance. And it highlighted e-cigarettes' role as a way for adult smokers to transition off cigarettes.

Gottlieb used "enforcement discretion" to extend the deadline for e-cigarette makers' marketing applications until 2022, saying both the agency and the industry needed more time to prepare. He said the impact of the rampant use of e-cigarettes "is becoming very apparent".

Despite the fact that not one person casted a vote for Gottlieb, his board at the FDA has the future of flavored e-cigarettes in their hands.

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