FDA plans heavy crackdown on electronic cigarettes


By Laurie McGinley | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration, alarmed by a huge increase in vaping among minors, is expected to impose severe restrictions on the sale of most e-cigarettes products throughout the United States – actions that will likely have a significant impact on an industry that has grown exponentially in recent years with little government oversight.

As soon as next week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes – the majority of vaping products sold – in tens of thousands of convenience stores and gas stations across the country, according to senior agency officials. According to its officials, the agency will also impose such rules as age-verification requirements for online sales.

The FDA moves are being spurred by preliminary government data showing e-cigarette use rose 77 percent among high schoolers and nearly 50 percent among middle schoolers in 2018. That means 3.5 million children were vaping in early 2018, up 1 million from 2017.

Gottlieb, who once served on the board of a North Carolina vaping company, was at one time viewed as an ally of the e-cigarette industry, and delayed some critical e-cigarette rules shortly after becoming commissioner in 2017. But he has also said his first priority is protecting kids from tobacco-related disease.

“We now have evidence that a new generation is being addicted to nicotine, and we can’t tolerate that,” he said, referring to the vaping data in an interview before he made final decisions on e-cigarette policy.

The only exception to the flavored products ban in convenience stores involves menthol e-cigarette products. The FDA will continue to permit that flavor to be sold because menthol is permitted in regular cigarettes as well, and the agency doesn’t want to give traditional cigarettes an advantage over e-cigarettes in the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health

      

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