Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

FDA warns vaping industry about possible ban of flavored products

FDA warns vaping industry about possible ban of flavored products

The companies sell Vuse, Blu, Juul, MarkTen XL, and Logic e-cigarette brands, which account for 97 percent of US e-cigarette sales, according to FDA.

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.

The agency also issued around 1,100 warning letters and 131 fines.

In April, JUUL sent thousands of pages of records to be reviewed by the FDA - but apparently, it didn't bode well for the nicotine king.

Since the surge in teen use of the products began, the FDA and Juul have battled over the products consistently. The FDA should also be moving to remove all flavored tobacco products from the market - unless a manufacturer shows that they help adults switch completely from cigarettes and do not attract youth - which is clearly not the case for the most popular products now on the market.

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

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"While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adults move away from combustible cigarettes, that can't come at the expense of kids", Dr Gottlieb said. Such grim statistics prompted the FDA to recently propose that the level of nicotine, the addictive substance that gets people hooked, permitted in products should be brought down, either suddenly or gradually over time, to eventually wean people off smoking.

JUUL, a private company that doesn't make cigarettes; Logic, which is owned by the Japan Tobacco International, and R. J. Reynolds Vapor Company's Vuse said they plan to work with the FDA.

It marks a shift in the agency's tone on e-cigarettes.

Three stores in Arkansas were fined $279 for sales of tobacco or e-cigarette products to minors.

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.

"We're especially focused on the flavored e-cigarettes", said Gottlieb.

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"Today's announcement will represent a fundamental turning point, if but only if, FDA formally requires all manufacturers to comply with these requirements and FDA reverses its policy and requires that all of these products undergo premarket review now, not four years from now", he said.

In what the FDA is calling its "largest coordinated enforcement effort", the agency investigated stores and online businesses this summer after finding evidence that "e-cigarette use among young people has hit epidemic proportions".

According to the FDA, more than 2 million middle and high school students past year said they used e-cigarettes. "If the companies don't know, or if they don't want to know, that these straw purchases are occurring, we'll now be helping to identify it for them". Camel maker British American Tobacco's shares jumped 6 percent. "The FDA may perchance perchance no longer tolerate an complete generation of children changing into hooked on nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to non-public unfettered access to these same merchandise", Gottlieb said. Although the FDA had acted in May to limit the sale of such products, they were still being offered, with the offending labeling and advertising, by the 12 online retailers, several of whom were also cited for sales to minors.

Dr. Gottlieb said he believes that certain flavors make the products appealing to teens.

"Not a lot of people want to go to a tobacco flavor coming off tobacco", Villmer said with a smile.

According to the company's website, the mission of JUUL products is to improve the lives of the world's 1 billion adult smokers.

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