Future of e-cigarettes in doubt after FDA statement

Posted at 8:38 AM, Jan 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-21 19:24:23-05

Right now, the future of e-cigarettes could be in jeopardy after a statement by the commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA is considering pulling e-cigs and vape pens off store shelves unless vape use among the youth go down.

RELATED: Why vaping is so dangerous for teens| This is where you can get help if your child is vaping

At a public hearing Friday in Silver Spring, Md., FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he could see the entire category of e-cigarette and vaping products removed from store shelves if those companies don’t stop marketing to teenagers.

According to political newspaper The Hill, Gottlieb pointed to data showing youth vaping rates had nearly doubled over the last year due to the increased availability and convenience of e-cigarette products.

According to the FDA, e-cigarette use spiked 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students over the last year. About 1.5 million young people took up the habit from 2017 to 2018.

The minimum age to buy e-cigarettes in Florida is 18-years-old.

JUUL, one of the most popular brands among teens, has promised to roll out an action plan with the FDA to help stop underage vaping and cut back on youth e-cigarette use in 2019.

On their website, JUUL states, "We have pledged $30 million over the next three years to independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement...we market our products responsibly, following strict guidelines to have material directed toward adult smokers and not to youth audiences."

A JUUL Labs spokesperson sent WPTV the following statement regarding the FDA concerns:

“Underage use of JUUL and any other vaping products is completely unacceptable to us and is directly opposed to our mission of eliminating cigarettes by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. We are moving full steam ahead on implementing our action plan [] to limit youth usage, and this is unchanged since we announced our plan in November. We will be a transparent, engaged, and committed partner with FDA, state Attorneys General, local municipalities, and community organizations in the effort to combat underage use.”