FDA warns e-cigarette makers against marketing to children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent letters Friday to e-cigarette makers and importers, warning that it will remove any products that have been marketed illegally.

Electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products are seen at a store in New York City. Friday, the FDA warned e-cigarette makers and importers to comply with new agency regulations aimed at preventing their marketing to young adults and children. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products are seen at a store in New York City. Friday, the FDA warned e-cigarette makers and importers to comply with new agency regulations aimed at preventing their marketing to young adults and children. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The FDA sent letters to 21 manufacturers and importers demanding information on whether they illegally marketed more than 40 products without agency approval.
Some that received notices were Vuse Alto, myblu, Myle, Rubi and STIG.

Juul, a market leader, did not a letter because it’s already subject to an inspection of its corporate headquarters to retrieve similar information, the FDA said.

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The federal regulator has implemented a policy that e-cigarette products introduced after August 8, 2016, must submit to FDA review and authorization before it’s marketed. Affected products that were already on the market were ordered to submit retroactively by this year, but the deadline has been extended to 2022.

Friday’s warning is the latest regulatory crackdown on growing e-cigarette use among youths. The FDA has investigated whether flavored “vaping” products are being used to appeal to younger consumers.

“If products are being unlawfully marketed and outside the FDA’s compliance policy, we’ll act to remove them,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said. “This includes revisiting our compliance policy that has resulted in certain e-cigarettes, including flavored e-cigarettes, remaining on the market until 2022 while their manufacturers submit applications for pre-market authorization.”

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The FDA said it’s had to weigh potential benefits of e-cigarettes — as a smoking cessation aid — against their appeal to young adults and children.

“The FDA remains committed to the potential opportunity for e-cigarettes to help adult smokers transition away from combustible cigarettes. But we cannot allow that opportunity to come at the expense of addicting a whole new generation of kids to nicotine,” Gottlieb said. “We’ll take forceful steps to stem the youth use, even if our actions have the unwelcome effect of impeding some opportunities for adults.”

BySommer Brokaw