U.S. officials call teen vaping an ‘epidemic,’ weigh flavor ban

Desiree Burns
September 12, 2018

The move comes in response to an "epidemic" of young people using e-cigarettes.

FDA chief Scott Gottlieb said: "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end".

USA health officials say teenage use of e-cigarette has reached "epidemic" levels and are calling on the industry to address the problem or risk having their flavored products pulled off the market. "It's that simple", Gottlieb said in a statement. The agency issued 12 warning letters to companies that it says have deceptive marketing labels on e-liquids. "We can not allow a whole new generation to become addicted to nicotine".

Shares of British American Tobacco were up almost 6 percent and shares of cigarette-maker Imperial Brands PLC were up more than 3 percent.

Budding research on e-cigarettes also suggests that these flavors contain terpenes that may be more damaging to the lungs than other flavors are.

Gottlieb noted that the FDA continues to support the availability of products to help adult smokers quit, but 'that work can't come at the expense of kids, ' he said.

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Manufacturers offer and market e-cigarette flavors that appeal to minors, including candy, bubble gum and fruit flavors. Of the 3.6 million middle and high school students who said in 2017 they were tobacco product users, 2.1 million used e-cigarettes, Bloomberg reports, citing CDC stats.

Since the surge in teen use of the products began, the FDA and Juul have battled over the products consistently.

However, Gottlieb claims e-cigarette brands haven't done enough to stop kids from using the products.

The owners of Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the plan Wednesday, saying the agency is giving the manufacturers of Juul, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu, and Logic-which make up more than 97% of the U.S. e-cigarette market-60 days to submit their plans, USA Today reports.

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