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“That’s going to be one thing that’s on the table,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb about the possibility of banning e-cigarette sales online. “It’s very clearly something we are now looking at.” Next November, the FDA will be releasing proposals for new e-cig regulations, and will allow several months for feedback before a final decision is taken.

In the meantime, earlier this month, the agency issued over 1,000 warning letters to U.S. retailers and manufacturers of e-cigarettes, in what the agency called “the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA’s history.”

In these letters, the agency demanded that within 60 days these companies present proof that they can keep the nicotine-containing products out of the hands of minors. Should they fail to do so, the FDA may ban candy-like flavors, such as bubble gum and crème brûlée, that it considers appealing to this age group.

Gottlieb said the goal is ensuring that teens don’t develop a nicotine addiction, adding that the main factors driving use by minors are “access and appeal.” He pointed out that the conversation on regulations would be different if the data showed that vaping rates were dropping alongside smoking rates, however, this is not the case he said, “everything is moving in the wrong direction.”

CDC 2017 data had indicated a decline in vaping

For the first time since the advent of electronic cigarettes, vaping had decreased from 16.0% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016, while smoking in that same period dropped from 9.3% to 8.0%.
On the other hand, data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) in 2017, had depicted a different scenario. This report had indicated smoking rates amongst high school students were cut in half in only five years, between 2011 to 2016, during the same period when vaping amongst the same age group increased from 1.5% to a peak of 16.0% in 2015.

This CDC report had also indicated that the percentage of high school students using e-cigarettes had dropped aswell. For the first time since the advent of electronic cigarettes, vaping had decreased from 16.0% in 2015 to 11.3% in 2016, while smoking in that same period dropped from 9.3% to 8.0%.

New data about teen vaping to be released soon

However Gottlieb is insisting that recent data is showing otherwise. “We are acting on very clear science that there’s an epidemic on the way,” he said. “We’re in possession of data that shows a disturbingly sharp rise in the number of teens using e-cigarettes in just the last year.”

“We’ve had to start taking some actions before the final results of this data can be made public. We will make these results public very soon. But we have an obligation to act on what we know. And what we know is very disturbing,” he added.

Read Further: Washington Examiner

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