(Associated Press) — U.S. health officials are sounding the alarm about rising teenage use of e-cigarettes, calling the problem an “epidemic” and ordering manufacturers to reverse the trend or risk having their flavoured vaping products pulled from the market.
The warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday cited recent data that points to a sharp increase in underage use of the handheld nicotine products, including Juul and others.
It marks a shift in the agency’s tone on e-cigarettes. Since last year, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb and other federal officials have discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes, although that benefit hasn’t been proven.
But Gottlieb said in an address at FDA headquarters that he failed to predict the current “epidemic of addiction” among youth, mainly driven by flavoured products. (…)