These days it’s becoming increasingly common to see people of all ages vaping in public places. It’s happening at work places, restaurants, and even schools. Despite the fact that products such as the Juul have helped many long-time smokers quit the habit, the FDA is concerned about the increased numbers of children and teens getting hooked on nicotine. The flavored options of e-liquid offered by e-cigarette companies such as mango, mint, and fruit medley, are likely part of what has made these products so appealing to youth. Because of this, the FDA is determined to restrict these flavored products, according to Gizmodo.
Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the the Food and Drug Administration, recently announced his sudden resignation. He’s been particularly adamant about the necessity of restricting these highly in-demand products. Despite his resignation, Gottlieb is still hopeful about his planned policies being put into place in the near future.
While it would certainly be challenging to remove flavored e-cigarette products off the shelves altogether, the FDA intends to focus their attention on the companies that have the largest amount of consumers. Juul and Altria, in particular, have been making a fortune from their sales, some of which has certainly come from underage users. This past Wednesday, the FDA proposed restrictions on the sales of some of these vaping products. Gottlieb looked to the rising numbers of youth vapers to explain why the change is so important.
Juul and Big Tobacco have lobbied for months to protect themselves from aspects of the FDA’s crackdown. As FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb leaves, they see an opening. https://t.co/NYv7Ogufet
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 16, 2019
While companies such as Juul have certainly helped some improve their health by escaping the long term health consequences of cigarette smoking, the truth is that many people using these products are first time nicotine users. According to Gottlieb, it is because of the abuse of these products by youth that restrictions are more important than ever.
“If the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey — which we’re in the field with right now collecting that data — shows another spike in teen use, we’re going to be back making new policy in the fall. And one of the things that we’re going to have to examine is whether we take the entire category of pod-based e-cigarettes off the market. At some point, the youth use of those products becomes so intolerable that they have no redeeming public health value, and we’ll just have to sweep the market of those products.”
The FDA is planning to meet with Juul in an effort to come up with a compromise to keep these products out of the hands of teens.