Too many teens are using Juuls, according to the FDA

Youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached

FDADeclaring that "youth use of e-cigarettes is reaching epidemic proportions", the Food and Drug Administration today threatened to remove vaping products from the market unless their manufacturers come up with satisfactory plans to prevent underage consumption.

The agency sent more than 1,100 warning letters and 131 fines to retailers it said illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors during a nationwide undercover sting including brick-and-mortar and online stores this summer.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has said that e-cigarettes, while still harmful, may be effective for adults who want to give up cigarette smoking, which kills nearly half a million Americans each year.

But Gottlieb said in an address at FDA headquarters that he failed to predict the current "epidemic of addiction" among youth, mainly driven by flavored products.

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. "And we're seriously considering a policy change that would lead to the immediate removal of these flavored products from the market". The premise of such threats is that the interests of adults who might want to switch from smoking to a far less hazardous form of nicotine consumption should be sacrificed for the sake of curtailing e-cigarette use by minors, which is already illegal.

One manufacturer in the FDA's crosshairs, Juul Labs, said in a statement, "JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request".

Gottlieb is remarkably cavalier about throwing adult smokers under the bus in the name of preventing adolescents from experimenting with e-cigarettes.

Today's announcement is part of a series of product standards the agency will roll out as part of their Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, which they launched earlier this year. Shares of cigarette and e-cigarette maker Altria Group also rose more than 6 percent, while Philip Morris International shares were up 4 percent. "Inevitably what we are going to have to contemplate are actions that may narrow the off-ramp for adults who see e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to combustible tobacco in order to close the on-ramp for kids", he told reporters.

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Gottlieb said the FDA recognized the impact this might have on adults trying to stop smoking, but said that emerging research on how flavored products encourage excessive use by young people shows action must be taken. Lisa Murkowski also asked the FDA to end delays.

The agency said it allowed the extra time to strike an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging the development of innovative tobacco products that may help older smokers quit.

According to the Washington Post, the preliminary data is from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, and it shows a 75 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students in 2018 compared to 2017.

"I use the word epidemic with great care". JUUL pods, which can be bought in fruit or candy flavors, contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. "Hindsight, and the data now available to us, reveal these trends".

The plan will address some of the known public health risks of these products, including the role of flavors.

The FDA also targeted Juul retailers this spring, issuing 56 warning letters and six civil monetary penalties.

Gottlieb announced a number of steps the agency planned to take as part of a broader crackdown on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids.

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