Feds warn manufacturers about selling flavored e-cigarettes to minors

US government considers ban on flavored e-cigarettes over youth 'epidemic'

"Clearly the FDA knows who the industry culprits are in this epidemic and as such should exercise its full regulatory authority over these products rather than allow the industry to voluntarily self-correct". He also said the agency is "considering the immediate removal ... from the market" of e-cigarette flavorings that cater to underage users.

The commissioner gave the five e-cigarette manufacturers dominating the market 60 days to come up with plans to address the underage use of their products.

The announcement is the latest in a series of steps the FDA has been taking to try to curb vaping among young people. This is the largest single enforcement action in agency history. She said some lobbyists were telling legislators that prepackaged, uniform e-cigarettes had lesser health risks than the ones sold, sometimes in made-to-order fashion, in independent vapor shops.

On Wednesday, the FDA magnified its message, sending five major e-cigarette manufacturers and more than 1,100 businesses warning letters - and, in some cases, fines for selling to minors.

Most of the violations found in the undercover blitz, conducted from June through August, were for the illicit sale of Vuse, Blu, JUUL, MarkTen XL and Logic e-cigarette products, according to the FDA.

"We welcome FDA's action today and look forward to sharing our thoughts about how to prevent and reduce youth use, an issue we have focussed on for decades", Altria spokesman George Parman said in a statement.

In July 2017, the FDA said it was considering lowering nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the anti-tobacco group Truth Initiative and other groups said last month that several large companies, including the parent company of Phillip Morris, were violating the so-called deeming rules.

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"I'm here to tell them today that this prior approach is over", he said.

"I use the word epidemic with great care". "E-cigs non-public changed into an almost ubiquitous - and unhealthy - pattern among young of us".

"But our public health mandate to prevent youth addiction has forced us to now revisit this element of our overall plan", he added. "It be simply no longer tolerable".

Studies show that teens who vape are also more likely to go on to smoke traditional burned cigarettes. 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. The agency may require the companies to revise their sales and marketing practices, to stop distributing products to retailers that sell to kids and to stop selling some or all of their flavored e-cigarette products until the companies clear the application process. If the goal is to restrict e-cigarettes, he said, then one option is to make them more expensive.

"The FDA will not tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a trade-off for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products", he said. As with firearms, there are straw buyers of vaping products; and as with firearms, there is practically no serious law-enforcement effort to do anything about that.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices.

And teenagers can expect to hear from the FDA in a new national campaign next week.

"I wouldn't say they are harmless but we haven't had the opportunity to evaluate the real risks", he said.

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