Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb expressed support Wednesday for raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
“We would support that,” Gottlieb said in congressional testimony when asked by Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., if he would favor raising the minimum age.
“A lot of the youth access isn’t just 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds going into convenience stores and buying these products,” Gottlieb explained. “This is enterprising 18-year-olds in high school buying them legally, and creating a business in their high school selling them back to 16-year-olds and 15-year-olds.”
As the Trump-appointed head of the FDA, Gottlieb has cracked down on sales of e-cigarettes to address what he termed Wednesday as a “sheer epidemic” of youth use of the products. Flavored e-cigarettes particularly appeal to minors, Gottlieb noted. Gottlieb expressed doubt that e-cigarette companies are doing all they can do to prevent young people from using their products.
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