FDA Cracks Down on Underage Use of E-Cigarettes

FDA’s largest enforcement action to date gave warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers and requested plans to prevent teen vaping from five manufacturers.

Earlier today, the Food and Drug Administration announced the launch of its largest coordinated enforcement effort in history, sending warning letters and fines to more than 1,300 retailers to combat the “epidemic” of e-cigarettes sales to minors.

“I use the word epidemic with great care,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous—and dangerous—trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end.”

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been “the most commonly used tobacco product among both middle school and high school students,” according to the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which is published by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the number of teens using e-cigarettes is believed to have jumped significantly since that last survey. While 2017 numbers listed more than 2 million middle school and high school students as e-cigarette users, Laurie McGinley at The Washington Post interviewed people familiar with preliminary data from the most recent survey, which is not yet published, who say the latest data reflects a 75 percent jump in high school students using e-cigarettes in 2018, an indicator of just how widespread “vaping” has become.

Read more at https://www.smithsonianmag.com

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