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Following the numerous alarming media headlines about how teen vaping is apparently out of control, witnessed in the recent weeks, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a statement announcing a series of new enforcement and regulatory steps. “First, we’re announcing that the FDA has been conducting a large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of e-cigarettes – specifically JUUL products”, said Gottlieb.

ECigIntelligence believes that this may hold an opportunity for the vaping industry to prove that it has the right intentions, and is able to self regulate.
However, industry experts at ECigIntelligence can see a silver lining. “There have been many signs in the last year that the FDA regime has a new willingness to work with the industry, and perhaps even a preference for doing so,” said editorial director of ECigIntelligence Barnaby Page, adding, “But the dark cloud hanging over the industry – at least in the perception of politicians, regulators and activists  – has been youth uptake.”

 

The FDA has offered major concessions in areas such as enforcement deadlines. However, understandably the agency is not taking any risks where it comes to issues such as youth vaping, and since many media articles flashed the spotlight on Juul, so is the FDA.

An opportunity for the industry to earn credibility

Juul Labs has announced that it will be spending $30 million to support state and federal initiatives to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to over 21, and towards research on how to prevent youth access to vaping products.
ECigIntelligence however, believes that this may hold an opportunity for the vaping industry to prove that it has the right intentions, and is able to self regulate. “If this is handled properly it can build institutional trust between the industry and regulators, something that is lacking in the United States so far,” said Page.

“Industry associations and compliance staff have been talking about self-policing for a while. Now they have a chance to show that the industry can deliver. The major players need to support the FDA in practical measures, while emphasizing that illegal sales to minors are a relatively small-scale aberration which the industry itself also wants to eliminate.”

 

Inline with this, Juul Labs has announced that it will be spending $30 million to support state and federal initiatives to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to over 21, and towards research on how to prevent youth access to vaping products.

Explaining the need for e-liquid flavors

ECigIntelligence thinks that at this point, the biggest hurdle for the vaping industry to overcome, is assuring health authorities that the kid-friendly vaping e-liquid flavours available, are in no way aimed at enticing teens. Last January, Attorney General of Iowa Thomas Miller, and four Public Health experts amongst whom renowned anti-smoking activists Clive Bates and David Sweanor, sent a briefing and letter to Dr. Gottlieb “that form a chain of reasoning that connect flavors to harms or, more likely in reality, to public health benefits.”

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