The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes from Juul Labs and other companies as it grapples with an “epidemic” of youth e-cigarette use that threatens to create a new generation of nicotine addicts, the agency’s head said on Wednesday.
In a speech at FDA headquarters, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency would also revisit a policy that extended the dates for some manufacturers of flavored e-cigarettes to get FDA approval before selling their products. That could lead to removal of some major flavored e-cigarette brands, including the popular products made by Juul Labs Inc., if they do not address the issue to the agency’s satisfaction.
“We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion,” Gottlieb said.
Manufacturers offer and market e-cigarette flavors that clearly appeal to minors, including candy and bubble gum flavors. The FDA said more than 2 million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2017.
The FDA is giving the five top-selling e-cigarette brands – Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic – 60 days to provide plans for how they will mitigate sales to minors.