FDA targets flavored electronic cigarettes for excessive teenage use

Henrietta Strickland
September 21, 2018

Just three months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaping held steady among high school students in 2017 and declined among middle-schoolers. The agency will use geo-fencing, which allows marketers to reach people within specific locations, to reach populations around middle and high schools.

Scott Gottlieb, commissioner at the FDA, said: "We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, and we must adjust certain aspects of our comprehensive strategy to stem this clear and present danger".

"We're in possession of data that shows a disturbingly sharp rise in the number of teens using e-cigarettes in just the past year", FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.

"The big question that public health and tobacco control people should ask themselves is are we potentially going to see what appears to have happened in the USA, which is to say spikes in both e-cigarette use and potentially smoking?"

Messages will appear on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Instagram, and on posters in high schools, as well as on the FDA's "The Real Cost" campaign website.

One series of videos attempts to show the chemicals spreading like a snake-like creature through the body.

"Vaping can deliver nicotine to your brain, reprogramming you to crave more and more", another reads.

Of the people who used to smoke but quit, an overwhelming 36% stated that vapes do more harm, even though they are the demographic that may have been most positively impacted by the new technology.

Still, they say, their findings add to earlier evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to smoking tobacco and experimenting with drugs.

Almost 1 in 11 middle and high school students in the USA has used cannabis in an e-cigarette, according to a new report.

More than a quarter of those aged 18 to 34 said they had tried vaping, while 14 per cent said puffing on an e-cigarette was routine.

What's more, e-cigarette liquids like Juul pods contain high concentrations of nicotine. In a nutshell: He's highly concerned about their growing popularity among youth.

The organization also found that younger people and tobacco smokers are more likely to have engaged in vaping or to use e-cigarettes regularly. But previous year Gottlieb delayed the deadline until 2022, saying both the agency and industry needed more time to prepare.

More: To juul or not to juul?

"We've had to start taking some actions before the final results of this data can be made public".

Just last week, the agency announced a crackdown on companies that make e-cigarettes and stores that sell the products illegally to minors.

Products introduced after that date must be subjected to a rigorous scientific review process before they are approved.

The FDA said it remains committed to exploring e-cigarettes as a less-harmful alternative for adult smokers, but Gottlieb added "that work can't come at the expense of kids".

A coalition of public health groups including the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids said last month that some major manufacturers have been flouting that mandate.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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