Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

FDA expected to impose restrictions on e-cigarettes

FDA expected to impose restrictions on e-cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration is planning to crack down on sales of flavored e-cigarette products, claiming they are highly addictive and have become hugely popular with minors. Officials say they will also impose age-verification requirements for all online sales, among other rules.

E-cigarette makers argue the devices help adult smokers give up cigarettes - potentially saving them from related illnesses - by giving a nicotine fix without the smoke and smell of combustible cigarettes.

The letters suggest that FDA might ban flavored e-liquids if insufficient steps to curb youth use are not taken.

The FDA's flavor restrictions would exclude menthol, meaning menthol and mint vape products would still be allowed to be sold in convenience stores and gas stations - until the FDA removes menthol cigarettes from the market.

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. So we don't want to leave smokers with only tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, ' Gottlieb told Politico's Pulsecheck podcast on Thursday.

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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.

"In order to close the on-ramp to e-cigarettes for kids, we have to put in place some speed bumps for adults", Gottlieb said. "The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end".

While it might take some time before the restriction comes into effect, given it has to go through regulatory processes of the FDA, none of the major tobacco companies commented on this proposed ban yet.

Juul's device has become wildly popular, accounting for nearly one in three e-cigarette sales as of the end of 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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