The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is so concerned with the nation’s teen nicotine addiction FDA officials are suggesting a way to cure an apparent addiction: take a drug.
Currently, there are no FDA-sanctioned nicotine cessation devices for individuals under 18 years old.
“A few years ago, it would’ve been incredible to me that we would be here today discussing the potential for drug therapy to help addicted young people quit,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said during a Jan. 18 hearing.
The FDA announced last November vaping among high school students rose more than 70 percent from 2017 and 50 percent among middle schoolers.
While a majority of health organization leaders admit long-term effects of vaping is inconclusive, but claim e-cigarette use at a young age can lead to nicotine addiction or develop into a gateway to smoking traditional cigarettes or drugs.
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids President Matthew L. Myers told CNN health officials should have learned their lessons from how past generations failed to treat teen smoking.
“The FDA has concluded that the level of addiction it is seeing among youthful e-cigarette users is so disturbing and so unprecedented that it needs to at least ask whether we need a solution that goes beyond what we ever did with cigarettes,” Myers said.
But for the FDA to recommend prescribing drugs to a minor?
Head-scratcher, for certain.
Medical experts admitted to CNN there is “virtually no data” for aiding hooked minors and further research is needed to develop new therapies.
There has to be a better way than prescribing nicotine gum or other medications to treat some of the most severe cases of teen nicotine addiction.
There just has to be.