Friday, September 14, 2018

An 'epidemic of nicotine addiction' among kids prompts FDA to get tough on e-cigarette makers

An 'epidemic of nicotine addiction' among kids prompts FDA to get tough on e-cigarette makers: Responding to an “epidemic of nicotine addiction” among American youths, the FDA announced a comprehensive crackdown on e-cigarette manufacturers, directing the industry’s giants to draw up detailed plans for halting sales to minors and threatening to pull a wide range or products from the market.

In response to a nationwide undercover investigation of brick-and-mortar and online stores over the summer, the FDA levied civil fines ranging from $279 to $11,182 on e-cigarette retailers found to have sold their products to minors and issued more than 1,300 warning letters.
What’s more, Gottlieb said the vaping industry appears to have turned a blind eye to the online practice of “straw purchasing” by retailers and individuals intent on buying vaping products and reselling them to minors.
The agency also ordered 12 online retailers to halt their continued marketing of e-liquids resembling kid-friendly products like candy and cookies. Although the FDA had acted in May to limit the sale of such products, they were still being offered, with the offending labeling and advertising, by the 12 online retailers, several of whom were also cited for sales to minors.
The new enforcement actions mark the start of a “sustained campaign to monitor, penalize and prevent e-cigarette sales in convenience stores and other retail sites” to minors, Gottlieb said. He promised, too, that the FDA would be keeping close tabs on manufacturers’ own internet storefronts and distribution practices to detect sales to minors.
“The FDA has at its disposal both civil and criminal remedies to address demonstrated violations of the law,” he said.
The actions were greeted with defiance and derision from the vaping industry.
“Thousands of small-business vape shops across America do not engage in irresponsible marketing practices and don't even sell the products being targeted by the FDA with threatening letters,” said Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Assn., a nonprofit organization that advocates for what it calls sensible regulation.

No comments: