The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strongly considering banning all flavored e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes, such as Juul, have become a popular alternative to smoking. The smoking alternative came under FDA control in 2016, when the administration placed an age requirement of 18-years-old on the product.
Now, the FDA wants to crack down on flavored products. FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, an appointee of President Donald Trump, stated, “We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion.”
Today #FDA took a series of critical actions to address the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. We also intend to take new, significant steps to stem this challenge, including re-examining our compliance policy regarding flavored e-cigarettes: https://t.co/I4YjHxD110 pic.twitter.com/2dP1ZgtqTq
— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) September 12, 2018
The unelected officials at the FDA are now requiring private businesses, like Juul, to provide a detailed plan for how they will attempt to limit access of their product to those under 18.
Juul detailed their extensive plan on their website. Their plans include investing $30 million in educational materials for young people, ID match and age verification technology for online sales, age exclusive social media marketing, and support for legislation restricting access to those under 18.
Despite this extensive plan, some of the unelected bureaucrats at the FDA would still like to ban flavored e-cigarette products.
While the health risks for e-cigarette smoking are still being conducted, there are decades worth of studies on traditional cigarettes highlighting the horrible side effects of smoking.
One Harvard study found that e-cigarettes, while not good for you, are much less toxic than traditional cigarettes. Another study found that e-cigarettes are “no more or no less” effective than nicotine patches when used to help stop smoking.
A Juul spokesperson, Victoria Davis, argued in a statement to Reuters that “appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch.”
Although Gottlieb conceded that e-cigarettes may help adults stop smoking, it seems as though he won’t be swayed by Juul’s work to prevent kids from accessing the product.
“While we remain committed to advancing policies that promote the potential of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes, that work can’t come at the expense of kids,” said Gottlieb.
Instead of cracking down on enforcement to ensure that teens aren’t getting the product, it seems as though the FDA is leaning toward banning the product for everyone.
Despite the fact that not one person casted a vote for Gottlieb, his board at the FDA has the future of flavored e-cigarettes in their hands.