• July 8, 2020

E-cig epidemic explodes

The US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, has said that his agency might need to pull pod-based nicotine products off the market to fight teen vaping, according to a story by Anna Edney published by the LA Times.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, Gottlieb said he had had a contentious meeting last week with executives of Altria and Juul Labs.

“The e-cigarette industry has been overly dismissive” of the risk that young people could become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarette use, Gottlieb said. “We’re capturing an exploding epidemic right now.”

Gottlieb said the FDA was working on defining what constituted a pod-based product in case it needed to ban them temporarily.

Sales of vaping pods could resume if manufacturers showed that their devices were geared toward adult cigarette smokers trying to quit, and not toward young people.

“It was a difficult meeting,” the commissioner said, noting that there was a “disconnect” between the companies’ priorities and those of health officials.

He added that it appeared Altria’s decision to purchase a stake in Juul was purely a business decision and not driven by public health concerns.

Edney said that Altria and Juul hadn’t responded to Gottlieb’s characterization of the meeting.

But she added that both companies said they remained committed to combating underage use of e-cigarettes.