"We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion", Gottlieb said.
USA health officials on Wednesday declared the teen use of e-cigarettes an epidemic and issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to entities related to the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors. "E-cigs non-public changed into an almost ubiquitous - and unhealthy - pattern among young of us".
"I'll be clear. The won't 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", Dr. Gottlieb said.
In addition to JUUL, 4 other vape companies face the FDA's ultimatum: Vuse, Blue, Markten XL, and Logic (who collectively make up 97% of the USA e-cig market). The letter came with a 60-day deadline and a threat that if there were no promises made to stop the use of the products by minors that the agency would start looking at taking steps to remove flavored products from the market. "We're seriously considering a policy change that would lead to the immediate removal of these flavored products from the market", Gottlieb said in a speech at FDA headquarters. Of the 3.6 million middle and high school students who said in 2017 they were tobacco product users, 2.1 million used e-cigarettes, Bloomberg reports, citing CDC stats.
We also have the highest percentage of youth having reported e-cigarette use in the last 30 days at 23 per cent, compared to the national average of 10 per cent.
The commissioner has repeatedly agreed that e-cigarettes can be an effective tool for adults trying to quit smoking, so his harsh words for the industry on Wednesday were all the more remarkable.
But Gottlieb acknowledged Wednesday that the agency failed to predict an "epidemic of addiction" among youth, mainly driven by flavored products.
"If someone likes it and they think it's cool and a trend, most people will probably follow suit", said Alex Vilmer, the manager of Springfield's Vapor World on Glenstone when answering in the affirmative about the way "vaping" has grown in popularity over the past decade.
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At that time of the extension, Gottlieb said Wednesday, the agency didn't foresee the "epidemic'"of adolescent use that has become one of the plan's biggest challenges". In 2016, the agency "deemed" that products such as e-cigarettes also were under its jurisdiction and told companies to file applications to market their products by August 2018.
"While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes, that work can't come at the expense of kids", Gottlieb said. "Thousands of small-business vape shops across America do not engage in irresponsible marketing practices and don't even sell the products being targeted by the FDA with threatening letters", said Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Assn., a nonprofit organization that advocates for what it calls sensible regulation. In other cases, such as when adult smokers use them to quit smoking, they offer an opportunity to reduce smoking-related illness.
E-cigarettes, such as Juul, have become a popular alternative to smoking.
"There is considerable public health consequences associated with e-cigarettes", Kirshenbaum said.
Kirshenbaum agrees with the head of the FDA- the surge of e-cigarette use among teens is an epidemic.
"Kids should not smoke or use any tobacco products. 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.
The team found that the nicotine concentrations in Juul and similar products ranged from 21.8 mg/mL to 56.2 mg/mL - significantly higher than what is seen with other e-cigarette technologies.