FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has revealed his plans to combat underage use of e-cigs and nicotine, which has grown 78 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018.
The commissioner today announced a plan that would remove all flavored electronic nicotine delivery system products — with the exception of tobacco, mint, menthol or non-flavored products — from any store where children under the age of 18 can see them.
So what does this mean for Juul, a company that reached a $10 billion valuation 4x faster than Facebook and currently owns more than 70 percent of the e-cig market?
One result is that Juul Labs is likely now just as desperate for minors to quit vaping as the FDA. The commissioner has made it abundantly clear that if he doesn’t see a significant decrease in underage use, he’s willing to pull the plug on the e-cig industry.
“I could take more aggressive steps,” Gottlieb said in a written statement. “I could propose eliminating any application enforcement discretion to any currently marketed ENDS product, which would result in the removal of ALL such products from the marketplace. At this time, I am not proposing this route, as I don’t want to foreclose opportunities for currently addicted adult smokers. But make no mistake. If the policy changes that we have outlined don’t reverse this epidemic, and if the manufacturers don’t do their part to help advance this cause, I’ll explore additional actions.”
Yes, it seems remarkable that we may live in a world where cigarettes, the country’s leading cause of preventable death, are available at grocery stores but e-cigarettes, which are said to be 95 percent less dangerous, are illegal.
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