More than two million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2016 and that number has continued to grow.
The FDA says it is conducting "a large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of e-cigarettes-specifically JUUL products-to minors at both brick-and-mortar and online retailers".
The FDA said that since early March it has uncovered 40 violations throughout the country of illegal sales of Juul products to children and teens. Investigators targeted 7-Eleven locations, Shell gas stations and Cumberland Farms convenience stores as well as vaping shops. "Let me be clear to retailers".
In an online statement, Altria Group Inc., the leading tobacco company in the USA, said, "Our company's products are meant for adults and society expects us to market them responsibly".
The FDA has its eye on Juul Labs, the e-cigarette company that has captured almost half of the $2 billion e-cig market. The company produces an e-cigarette device that's about the size of a thumb drive.
Health leaders are sounding the alarm on a new form of an e-cigarette that contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. He named several other brands of concern, including KandyPens and myblu.
JUUL Labs has seen significant success in its efforts to enable adult smokers to transition from cigarettes and also recognizes that young people have become aware of and gained access to its products.
The company says it will also support state and federal legislation to raise the minimum age for vaping products to 21. "We already have in place programs to identify and act upon these violations at retail and online marketplaces, and we will have more aggressive plans to announce in the coming days", the statement read. "The FDA wants to know what kind of research the company has on how kids might use their product, including whether certain product design features of the USB-charged device appeal to youth and whether different ingredients might be aimed at kids", Matt Novak writes for Gizmodo.
Scott Ballin, past chairman of the anti-smoking alliance Coalition of Science or Health, called the Juul steps "very positive and can help pave the way for better cooperation and civil engagement between all stakeholders, including the FDA, tobacco control organizations, policy makers and manufacturers". "Honey might be considered", is a line from a 1972 memo from a consultant to Brown & Williamson in a chilling nine-page compendium - "Tobacco Industry Quotes on Nicotine Addiction" - published on SWAT, a section of the Oklahoma state website described as its "youth movement to expose Big Tobacco's lies and deceptive practices".
In an email statement following FDA's announcement, Sen.
However, Matt Myers, chairman of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the steps being taken by Juul "are not a substitute for effective FDA regulation. history has shown over and over again that voluntary actions by tobacco manufacturers doesn't work". "I continue to urge the agency to immediately use its existing authority to remove any JUUL flavors-like their kid-popular mango flavor-that are now on the market in violation of regulations".
Juul is clearly positioning its e-cigarettes as harm-reducing alternatives for grownups who smoke, which the FDA itself has recognized as a potential boon for public health. But the agency made a decision to delay regulations until 2022 as part of a plan to overhaul tobacco regulations.