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FDA Gets Tough on Juul, Other E-Cigarette Makers
14 September 2018, 12:25 | Silvia Roy
Calling teen vaping 'epidemic,' officials weigh flavor ban
The agency is giving e-cigarette companies 60 days to come up with a plan for reducing use of their products among minors.
Fontem Ventures, makers of blu, issued a similar statement.
State health department officials continue to be anxious about JUUL, a device that looks like a flash drive, which they say dominates more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market. The four others are owned by cigarette companies.
E-cigarettes, such as Juul, have become a popular alternative to smoking.
The owners of Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
And to help prevent the next child from using the product. Flavored e-cigarettes are said to be a tool that helps adults quit smoking traditional cigarettes, the main example of a plus the product can claim. In a statement, they called for support for their bipartisan legislation, introduced in July, which would ban flavored cigars and place stringent controls on e-juice flavorings.
The FDA will also look closely at "straw purchases", in which adults visit web-based stores and buy in bulk to resell to minors.
The agency has so far issued fines to 131 retailers, ranging from $279 to $11,182.
And the agency has issued more than 135 No-Tobacco-Sale Order Complaints, which, according to the FDA, "can result in retailers being prohibited from selling tobacco products for specified periods of time".
"Today we can see that this epidemic of addiction was emerging when we first announced our plan last summer", said Gottlieb. But at the same time, we see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, and we must adjust certain aspects of our comprehensive strategy to stem this clear and present danger.
Also, the agency is probing manufacturer's online shops for "straw" purchases in which buyers resell products to minors.
Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog said Juul is the brand "most at risk" from an FDA crackdown and that a potential ban on the company's products would boost Altria and other cigarette makers that also sell e-cigarettes.
"I'll be clear. The FDA won't tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a tradeoff for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products", Gottlieb said. The FDA claims that more than 2 million middle schoolers and high school students were regularly vaping previous year, with underage use reaching "an epidemic proportion". Ingredients also include glycerol, propylene glycol, natural oils, extracts and flavor and benzoic acid. The premise of such threats is that the interests of adults who might want to switch from smoking to a far less hazardous form of nicotine consumption should be sacrificed for the sake of curtailing e-cigarette use by minors, which is already illegal.
"There is no question that a lot of the youth use is being driven by Juul", Gottlieb said.
Shares of Big Tobacco companies surged in trading today.
"What we have learned from our experience with cigarettes and other products, is it is important to restrict sales to kids, but if you make products appealing to kids, market them in ways to attract kids, you can be certain kids will get them", Myers told AFP. It included plans to reduce nicotine in conventional cigarettes to nonaddictive levels.
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Evacuations in United States ahead of Hurricane Florence
There was also concern over crops. "It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners. At least 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been warned to evacuate, and others are hunkering down.
Hurricane Florence weakens, but still a strong flood threat
Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm approached, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.