The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cracking down with full force on e-cigarette makers to stop selling to minors. Aside from the issue being totally illegal, the FDA is extremely frustrated with the high number of teens smoking electronic cigarettes. Now, the FDA is issuing an ultimatum to five makers of popular vaping devices, including Jull Labs, which seems to be highly popular lately, to stop selling to minors or major consequences will occur.
Since the warning, manufactures now have 60 days to come up with a plan. If companies fail to comply with the FDA’s order, the agency will begin removing products from the market and e-cigarette makers could face “potential criminal or civil action,” as reported by CNN.com.
In addition to Juul, the “historic” RJR Vapor Co.’s Vuse, Altria Group’s MarkTen, Imperial Grand’s blu and devices made by Logic were also issued the same warning. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said these manufacturers represent a whole 97 percent on the market.
Currently Juul Labs is the only company that responded to the agency’s crackdown. In an emailed statement, a company spokeswoman said, according to the New York Times: “We are committed to preventing underage use of our product, and we want to be part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people.”
Storefront retailers such as 7-Eleven, Walgreens and Shell gas stations are also faced with the FDA’s warning. So far, 131 storefront retailers were issued fines for selling e-cigarettes to minors, the Times reported. Gottlieb said in a briefing the agency will also be cracking down on the e-cigarette makers’ online store operations. The major concern from the FDA regarding to online store operations is “straw purchases,” which are bulk orders made online by adults that are then resold to minors, according to Forbes.
Although e-cigs are said to be the alternative to nicotine-addicted adults who want to stop smoking, it has become “epidemic” among teenagers. Gottlieb notes that many teenagers who have an e-cigarette have never even smoke nicotine but keeping vaping devices out of the hands of minors makes the agency head acknowledge that the accessibility of e-cigarettes to adults could be adversely affected, a consequence he calls “an unfortunate trade-off.”
CNN notes that the FDA chief seemed very emphatic while expressing the agency’s intent on restricting the sales of e-cigs to minors. “I’ll be clear. The FDA won’t tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a trade-off for enabling adults to have unfettered access to these same products,” said Gottlieb. The FDA plans to launch a new e-cigarette public education campaign targeting teens “and will soon announce wider access to new nicotine replacement therapies to help more adult smokers quit cigarettes” next week.