Food and Drug Administration, which is upset by a large increase in weapons among minors, is expected to impose severe restrictions on the sale of e-cigarette products throughout the United States – actions likely to have a significant impact on an industry that has grown exponentially in recent years with little state supervision.
As soon as next week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes in tens of thousands of convenience stores and gas stations across the country, according to senior agency officials. The agency will also impose such rules as age verification requirements for online sales, officials say.
Gottlieb is also expected to propose banning menthol in regular cigarettes. The agency has gathered public comments on such a ban, which is an important goal for the public health community, but is probably strongly opposed to the cigarette industry.
The FDA's measures for weapons are stimulated by preliminary government data showing e-cigarette use rose 77 percent in upper secondary education and nearly 50 percent among schoolchildren in 201
Gottlieb, once served on the board of a North Carolina vaping company, was once seen as ally by the e-cigarette industry, and he delayed some key e-cigarette rules shortly after becoming a commissioner in 2017. Han has also said that his first priority is to protect children from tobacco-related illness. Most weapons products are flavored, and studies show that teens are attracted to flavors.
"We now have evidence that a new generation is dependent on nicotine and we can not tolerate it," he said, referring to vaping data in an interview before making his final decision on e-cigarette policy.
The only exception to the prohibition of flavors in convenience stores involves menthol e-cigarette products. The FDA will continue to allow the sale of that flavor because menthol is allowed in regular cigarettes and the agency will not give traditional cigarettes an advantage over e-cigarettes . But the FDA can expand the sales restriction to menthol e-cigarettes whose youth wasting is not diminishing, officials said.
Gottlieb's actions apply to a particular type of weapon product that dominates the youth market – e-cigarettes that use prepackaged taste cartridges or pods. It includes the most popular weapons products from Juul Labs. The restrictions do not apply to "open-tank" systems available in weapon stores.
Research suggests that many e-cigarette users are likely to be addicted to nicotine, and some will probably end up with regular cigarettes, a product that kills half its long-term users. Furthermore, the long-term health consequences of vaping are not known.
At the same time, vaping devotees and "harm-reduction" advocates have said that e-cigarettes are a powerful tool for helping adult smokers to quit dangerous cigarettes. They have warned that it will be harder for adults to buy e-cigarettes – or put them off with flavors – will be harmful.
"We must be very careful not to overreact on the youth problem," said David Abrams, professor of social and behavioral science at New York University.
Juul, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the retail market, is sold in tens of thousands of stores.
Gottlieb's steps will almost certainly be criticized as being too aggressive by industry and for weakness of public and democratic legislators, whose electorate will probably embellish them in the effort to curb young people's use of e-cigarettes.
Tobacco Control Groups require marketing restrictions and banning all e-cigarette flavors to manufacturers can prove that such flavors enjoy public health by helping adults quit smoking cigarettes without increasing the youth's waping.
"As long as the FDA allo If these companies are to cool these flavors, you'll see a steady increase in the children who rely on this product," said Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) In an interview.
Gottlieb has resisted an over-the-table ban because he wants to ensure that flavored products are available to adults who will use them as aids to stop smoking regular cigarettes. Such devices may be a potentially less harmful source of nicotine, he said.
"We know that adults are crossing flammable products and that flavors play a part in it," he said in an interview. "We do not want to deter the opportunity for adults to get these products."
Adult smoke smokers in the US fell to their lowest level last year, by 14 percent, continuing a downward trend after a peak in 1965, but cigarettes kill an estimated 480,000 Americans a year.
The flavored e-cigarette products will be available in vape and tobacco stores, which the FDA believes is more careful to verify the buyers' age. Under federal law, tobacco products may not be sold to persons under 18 years of age. In some states and places, age is higher.
Gottlieb is also expected to warn that further e-cigarette restrictions may occur if the use of youngsters does not make it start to decline.
FDA officials, who recently carried out a breakdown of underage retailing of e-cigarettes to minors, and investigating whether products are being sold illegally were concerned about the number of breaches in retail stores.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a consumer group, has emphasized the importance of having e-cigarettes available to adults in convenience stores and online – especially those living in rural areas that may not have vape stores. "Seriously limiting the availability of these devices does not seem to be of public interest interest," he said.
Convenience stores have already begun questioning Gottlieb's legal ability to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to a particular type of store.
Juul, a slim e-cigarette introduced in 2015, has taken much of the blame for youth growth. A technical and design breakthrough, the e-cigarette looks like a USB flash drive, and in a break from previous weapon products, high levels of nicotine deliver smooth, not hard. Each of its buckets, which comes in such flavors as mango and cucumber, gives as much nicotine as a packet of cigarettes.
The company's early marketing strategy included a launch party with attractive young models whose images were widely shared on social media such as Twitter and Instagram.
Today, the company is swallowed up in a setback as a result of the increase in youth consumption. Company officials say that the early marketing campaign was short-lived and did not affect sales.
Now, the San Francisco-based company is running ads that expand its role in helping smokers quit traditional cigarettes. The ads carry the bar, "The option for adult smokers." It has also pledged $ 30 million to reduce minors. Along with four other e-cigarette makers, it plans to put plans for Gottlieb to cut the use of youngsters.