FDA Gets Tough on Juul, Other E-Cigarette Makers

USA health officials are sounding the alarm about teenage use of e-cigarettes, calling the problem an "epidemic" and ordering manufacturers to reverse the trend or risk having their flavored vaping products pulled from the market. While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes, that work can't come at the expense of kids.

"Given the alarming spike in e-cigarette use among Minnesota youth, we need a full-court press to prevent another generation from getting hooked on nicotine", said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm in the release.

In an effort to reverse that trend, the FDA on Wednesday sent letters to manufacturers of five e-cigarette brands often used by kids - Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic - requesting that they draw up plans for limiting youth access to their products within 60 days. We must factor in whether these products get kids addicted to nicotine. The company has more than two-thirds of the USA e-cigarette market, according to Nielsen data.

"We're especially focused on the flavored e-cigarettes".

Supermarket, drug and mass retail and fuel locations cited in the FDA action - primarily with warnings - included Coborn's, Dillons, Dollar General, Food Lion, Fred Meyer, Fred's, Fry's, H-E-B, Hannaford, Harps, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Rite Aid, Safeway, Smith's, Walgreens and Walmart.

Gottlieb is remarkably cavalier about throwing adult smokers under the bus in the name of preventing adolescents from experimenting with e-cigarettes.

Dr Gottlieb said the agency plans to launch a national campaign to raise awareness of the risks to teens, as it sees signs that the number of users is increasing.

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Though Juul is by far the most popular e-cigarette device, two other companies, Vuse and Blu, have also received warnings.

"I have grown increasingly concerned around what we see as rising youth use in these products, and I'm disappointed in the actions the companies have taken to try to address this", Gottlieb said at a press briefing.

What's more, e-cigarette liquids like Juul pods contain high concentrations of nicotine.

Studies show that teens who vape are also more likely to go on to smoke traditional burned cigarettes. The FDA's delay on that requirement has allowed the industry to flourish with little oversight. But it added that "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch", spokeswoman Victoria Davis said. Instead, the agency gave extensions to new and existing vaping products, giving them until August 2022 to submit information to support their products' safety and efficacy as switching devices.

"I use the word epidemic with great care". "Hindsight, and the data now available to us, reveal these trends".

"In my view, they treated these issues like a public relations challenge rather than seriously considering their legal obligations, the public health mandate and the existential threat to these products, and as they did, these risks have mounted", Gottlieb said.

The action is part of the FDA's Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan announced in April. The crackdown marks a shift in the agency's policy.

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