The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fired a warning volley over the bow of the vaping industry last April over the issue of teen vaping.
The FDA followed up with a barrage of shots at e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers in September, threatening a full-scale assault against marketing campaigns aimed at minors. More than 1,000 warning letters were delivered, seeking evidence the establishments have successfully kept vaping products out of reach of teenagers.
The FDA’s second round of attacks was ignited after the association was taken to the woodshed last April by a House appropriations subcommittee. The lawmakers lashed out against the rising number of vaping-keen teens and commanded it to enact “the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA’s history,” according to the agency.
The first move? Make a public proclamation:
“We are going to take some vigorous enforcement steps to try to perceive what we see is inappropriate use by youth,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.
Next came the Federal warnings.
Now, with hundreds of companies on the firing line, they are obligated to demonstrate an effective approach to denying teens access to nicotine-based products. If the proof is not sufficient, the FDA could ultimately authorize a ban on kids-friendly flavors, like bubble gum, the FDA declared.
The move, however, could backfire.
The Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) recently revealed the results of a study with more than 20,000 U.S. participants. Of those interviewed, a majority of individuals indicated their transition went from cigarettes to non-flavor vaping to flavors. If a ban on flavors is introduced, critics suggest a lower ratio of adult smokers will be able to quit.
While Gottlieb admitted vaping products are regarded as less harmful than traditional cigarettes, one of the agency’s top priorities is to protect teens.
“We can’t just addict a whole generation of young people onto nicotine,” he said.
The FDA took aim at the vaping industry’s marketing practices and fired.
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