FDA Gets Tough on Juul, Other E-Cigarette Makers

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The government agency has ordered five leading brands, including Juul, which has 72% of the market as of mid-August, according to Wells Fargo, as well as BAT's Vuse, Altria's MarkTen, Imperial's Blue E-cigs and Japan Tobacco's Logic, to submit plans within 60 days detailing how they will combat excessive teen use of their products.

"I have grown increasingly concerned around what we see as rising youth use in these products, and I'm disappointed in the actions the companies have taken to try to address this", Gottlieb said at a press briefing. But at the same time, 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.

Although e-cigarette companies like Juul say they are "not appropriate or intended for youth", many people point to their flavored options, small sizes and USB-charging as proof that teens are exactly who they're targeting.

The agency sent letters to Juul, along with other popular e-cigarette brands-as well as to over 1,100 retailers-demanding that they prove that e-cigaretts will stop being sold to the young folks. "In enabling a path for e-cigarettes to offer a potentially lower risk alternative for adult smokers", he says, "we won't allow the current trends in youth access and use to continue, even if it means putting limits in place that reduce adult uptake of these products".

While e-cigarettes were first marketed to help adults quit smoking combustible cigarettes, they have now become a gateway to nicotine for teenagers.

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The FDA told five major e-cigarette manufacturers Wednesday to come up with ways to address youth use in 60 days or the agency could require them to stop selling flavored products that appeal to children.

The FDA banned e-cigarette sales to minors in 2016, meaning they can not be sold to people under 18.

Then previous year, a few months after being sworn in as commissioner, Gottlieb announced a new comprehensive tobacco framework.

"JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request", said Kevin Burns, JUUL's CEO. The agency will then determine whether the plans go far enough. "Hindsight, and the data now available to us, reveal these trends". However, a recent study in Pediatrics discovered that teens who smoked e-cigarettes had higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals in their bodies than non-smokers.

Since the surge in teen use of the products began, the FDA and Juul have battled over the products consistently.

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The American Medical Association's Dr. Barbara McAneny also said the FDA could do much more, pledging that the association would "continue to advocate for more stringent policies".

Shortly after the launch, the FDA cracked down on e-liquids marketed to resemble kid-friendly foods like juice boxes, candy and cookies.

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

As of September 1, the FDA said it has conducted 978,290 retail inspections, issued 77,180 warning letters to retailers for violating the law, and initiated 18,560 civil money penalty cases in its checks of retail establishments selling tobacco products.

"We're announcing the largest ever coordinated initiative against violative sales in the history of the FDA".

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