Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

E-cigarette sales to kids targeted

E-cigarette sales to kids targeted

"I use the word epidemic with great care", said FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous? and risky? trend among teens.

The FDA stated that although e-cigarettes can potentially help adult smokers move away from traditional cigarettes, that effort can't come at the expense of a whole new generation becoming addicted to nicotine.

And specifically the agency announced that it's issuing more than 1,300 warning letters and fines against convenience stores, gas stations and other outlets that the FDA discovered were illegally selling e-cigarettes to kids during an undercover blitz over the summer.

The agency is now demanding plans to reign in youth-targeted marketing campaigns and control illegal sales of their products to minors from Juul and four other e-cigarette makers within 60 days.

"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.

According to the FDA, more than 2 million middle and high school students past year said they used e-cigarettes.

More than 2 million middle-school and high-school students used e-cigarettes in 2017. Their plans include investing $30 million in educational materials for young people, ID match and age verification technology for online sales, age exclusive social media marketing, and support for legislation restricting access to those under 18. 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 previous year in the Monitoring the Future Study, which began in 1975.

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The federal government is threatening to eliminate that alternative even while tolerating conventional cigarettes, which are far more hazardous and also end up in the mouths of people who are not old enough to buy them legally. The research, a collaboration between scientists at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and pediatricians from Stony Brook Children's Hospital, also reveals that Juul and similar products contain high concentrations of a modified, salt form of nicotine, which is more readily absorbed upon inhalation.

To gain clearance to return to the market, the companies would have to prove that the benefits to adults who use e-cigarettes to stop smoking outweigh the risks associated with youth vaping.

"The FDA may perchance perchance simply level-headed suddenly high-tail to manage flavored e-cigarettes, as an replacement of ready until 2022, because it is presently planning to function", Bloomberg said in a order.

And vaping products, including Juul and other brands, use fruity and candy-like flavors to attract users. And in fact, the FDA's announced a plan to basically slash the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to try to wean more Americans off tobacco cigarettes.

In a speech at the agency's headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., Gottlieb acknowledged that e-cigarettes present a public health conundrum.

The FDA says e-cigarette manufacturers must show in the next two months how they will keep their products out of kids' hands.

In April, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education sent a joint letter and toolkit to school districts across the state, warning them of the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping products and providing them with resources for addressing the issue in schools. But spokeswoman Victoria Davis said "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch". "Use of Juul and similar products ('juuling') among youth has parents, teachers and the lay public appropriately concerned". Regulators said it was the largest coordinated crackdown in the agency's history.

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