FDA Cracks Down on e-Cigarette Manufacturers

The federal Food and Drug Administration, saying that the use of e-cigarettes has become an “epidemic” among young people, has taken action against 1,300 retailers and five major manufacturers for “their roles in perpetuating youth access.”

It is the largest enforcement action in the agency’s history, the FDA said in a news release.

The agency said in the release that it was giving 60 days to the manufacturers to prove that they can keep e-cigarettes from minors. It also said it may take the flavored products off the market if the companies fail in that effort.

An estimated two million middle and high school students used the products last year, and flavored products are considered especially appealing to kids. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said that the growth in the use of the products among young people had reached “epidemic proportions.”

The vast majority of the violations cited by the FDA were for the illegal sale of five e-cigarette products – Vuse, Blu, JUUL, MarkTen XL, and Logic. These five brands currently comprise over 97 percent of the U.S. market for e-cigarettes, the news release said.

“This use by children and teens is especially concerning to the FDA,” the agency said in its statement, “because the developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to nicotine addiction. That’s why combating youth use of nicotine-containing products is a core priority and the guiding principle behind the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan.”

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