FDA Plans To Impose Severe Restrictions On E-Cigarettes

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The US Food and Drug Administration next week will issue a ban on the sale of fruit and candy-flavored electronic cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations, an agency official said, in a move to counter a surge in teenage use of e-cigarettes. Gottlieb is also expected to propose banning menthol in regular cigarettes, which is sure to get pushback from the tobacco industry.

The move is a part of the FDA's crackdown on the widespread usage of e-cigarettes in youth as the agency grapples with an "epidemic" of youth e-cigarette use that threatens to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.

From one teen to the next, e-cigarettes, or vaping, has skyrocketed in popularity.

The FDA announced in September it would investigate major e-cigarette makers Juul, MarkTen, Vuse, Blu and Logic, including reviews of marketing and sales practices.

Health advocates have anxious about the popularity of vaping products among kids, especially e-cigarettes with mint, fruit, chocolate or any number of other flavorings sold online and at convenience stores, gas stations and vape shops.

Speaking on Politico's Pulsecheck podcast this morning, Dr Scott Gottlieb said he has no immediate plans to ban or limit the sale of minty e-cigarettes as he cracks down on attractive flavors.

There has been mounting pressure for action after preliminary federal data showed teenage use had surged by more than 75 percent since a year ago, and the FDA has described it as an "epidemic".

"E-cigs have become an nearly ubiquitous - and risky - trend among teens", Gottlieb said in September.

- They were initially marketed as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, even a way to quit smoking altogether but these days, you might be more likely to see someone puffing on a e-cigarette than actually lighting up.

The restrictions would not impact open tank vaping devices which are available for sale in vape shops.

The FDA did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The minimum age to buy tobacco or e-cigarettes in NY state is 18.

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