The U.S Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced a crackdown on the sale of Juuls which look like computer flash drives, and other e-cigarette products to minors.
The companies have 60 days to come up with plans to stop those sales or the FDA may consider a ban on the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products, the agency said.
“The disturbing and accelerating trajectory we’re seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said at a morning media briefing.
All of these brands — JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, blu e-cigs, and Logic — made up the majority of products sold illegally to minors, the agency said.
In addition, the agency’s plan includes a series of actions to stop youth use of tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes which it said has become a growing epidemic among teens.
“Our youth tobacco prevention plan focuses on three key strategies,” Gottlieb said. “First, preventing youth access to tobacco products. Second, curbing the marketing of tobacco products aimed at youth. And finally, educating teens about the dangers of using any tobacco-related products.”
“The FDA will not tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a trade-off for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products,” he said.
Gottlieb said that e-cigarette manufacturers have been given ample time to change their ways.
“I’ve been warning the e-cigarette industry for more than a year that they needed to do much more to stem these youth trends,” he said.
The agency said it continues to check retail stores that sell tobacco, to ensure they are in compliance with federal laws.
The steps announced Wednesday are just the initial elements of these new efforts, Gottlieb said.
Manufacturers say they’ve changed from the days of Joe Camel, he said.
“But look at what’s happening right now. On our watch, and on their watch. They must demonstrate that they’re truly committed to keeping these new products out of the hands of kids, and they must find a way to reverse this trend,” Gottlieb said.