The US Food and Drug Administration will step up its crackdown on electronic cigarette sales to teens, according to a story by Robert King for the Washington Examiner quoting the head of the agency.
Lawmakers on a House Appropriations subcommittee were said to have grilled FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb about ‘excessive’ use of e-cigarettes among young people.
“I am concerned that FDA’s silence on e-cigarettes could open the door to the next public health emergency,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.
Gottlieb replied that the FDA would crack down on young people’s use of e-cigarettes in the coming weeks.
The agency has several avenues for targeting retailers that are selling to minors. Those include a warning letter, massive fines, or banning the retailer from selling any tobacco or e-cigarettes.
Gottlieb said e-cigarettes could offer fewer health risks than traditional cigarettes, but the soaring use among minors was worrisome. A recent study had found that e-cigarette use grew by 900 percent among high school students from 2011 to 2015 [there was no mention of the level of use in 2011].
“We can’t just addict a whole generation of young people onto nicotine,” Gottlieb reportedly said.