To restrict e-cigarette flavors to fight teenage vaping 'epidemic'

Gladys Abbott
November 12, 2018

The only exception to the flavored products ban in convenience stores involves menthol e-cigarette products.

Research indicates many e-cigarette users are likely to get addicted to nicotine and some will likely end up on regular cigarettes, a product that kills half its long-term users.

The latest actions follow months of meetings between the FDA and e-cigarette makers over how to prevent teenagers from getting hooked on their products.

In a statement last week, Gottlieb said that some of the companies he had met with also seemed to support raising the minimum age for buying tobacco products sales to 21 years.

The news isn't surprising as the FDA announced in September that it has issued more than 1,300 warning letters to retailers who were illegally selling JUUL, one of the most popular e-cigarette brands on the market today, as well as other e-cigarette products.

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A senior FDA official said details of the ban would be announced next week, and that menthol and mint flavors would be exempt, The New York Times reported.

Tobacco activists said the FDA should impose even greater restrictions, including banning online sales.

In a new report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the cigarette smoking rate in the United States dropped to an estimated 14 percent of adults in 2017. One of those companies, Juul, holds more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market share overall, and has become overwhelmingly popular with minors. As part of its effort, FDA sent letters inquiring about marketing practices to five manufacturers of cartridge based e-cigarette products that are widely used by youth. So we don't want to leave smokers with only tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, ' Gottlieb told Politico's Pulsecheck podcast on Thursday.

Spokesmen for the FDA and Juul declined to comment.

British American Tobacco Plc shares jumped as much as 2.3 per cent in early London trading on Friday, while Imperial Brands Plc climbed as much as 2.5 per cent. Analysts said the FDA's plans are positive for big tobacco companies because it will be more hard for consumers to buy Juul's pods.

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