FDA calls for new e-cigarette regulations after teen use increases

Vaping is up 78 percent among high schoolers

FDA calls for new e-cigarette regulations after teen use increases
The Food and Drug Administration proposed tougher regulations on flavored e-cigarette products after a dramatic rise in use among teenagers. (Payne, Ed)

(RNN) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing new measures to regulate flavored nicotine products, after a dramatic rise in vaping among high schoolers.

E-cigarette use increased 78 percent at the high school level and 48 percent in middle schoolers between 2017 to 2018, according to the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency’s proposals could ultimately prompt the removal of flavored e-cigarette products from shelves and websites that are accessible to minors.

“I will not allow a generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes,” said FDC Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement.

“We won’t let this pool of kids, a pool of future potential smokers, of future disease and death, to continue to build. We’ll take whatever action is necessary to stop these trends from continuing.”

Last month, the FDA seized documents from e-cigarette maker Juul in a broader crackdown on underage vaping.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said the popularity of Juul products hampers the CDC’s overall effort to cut down on vaping among the nation’s youth.

“We are alarmed that these new high nicotine content e-cigarettes, marketed and sold in kid-friendly flavors, are so appealing to our nation’s young people,” Redfield said in a statement.

Juul CEO Kevin Burns said the company is cooperating.

“The meetings last week with FDA gave us the opportunity to provide information about our business from our marketing practices to our industry-leading online age-verification protocols to our youth prevention efforts,” said Burns, adding that Juul has released “over 50,000 pages of documents” to the FDA since April.

Mint, menthol and tobacco flavors are not included in the FDA’s proposed changes.

The FDA said those will stay to help adults who want to use the products as an avenue to quit smoking.

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