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FDA Cracking Down on Underage Sale of E-Cigarettes by Retailers

 

On Sept. 12, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb declared teen use of electronic cigarettes an "epidemic" and said the agency would be addressing the issue with "the largest coordinated tobacco compliance effort in FDA's history." FDA is considering taking certain actions including forcing an immediate removal of certain flavored e-cigarettes from the market as well as possibly changing its compliance policy that extended the dates for manufacturers of some flavored e-cigarettes to submit applications for premarket authorization.

E-cigarettes have become popular with American youth over the past year. Therefore, in an effort to reduce underage use of e-cigarettes, FDA sent letters to manufacturers of five e-cigarette brands often used by youth users, including Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic, requesting that they implement plans to limit youth access to their products within 60 days. Failure to do so or not showing a good-faith effort "could mean requiring these brands to remove some or all of their flavored products that may be contributing to the rise in youth use from the market until they receive premarket authorization and otherwise meet all of their obligations under the law," according to the FDA statement.

In April, FDA announced a new initiative called the Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan that would curb the underage sale and youth use of e-cigarettes. Furthermore, FDA sent more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers found to be selling vapor products to minors in an attempt to crack down on the underage sale of e-cigarette products. FDA also issued 40 warning letters to brick-and-mortar retailers in one week alone this summer as a first step toward eliminating underage use of e-cigarettes.

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