FDA Tackles Rampant Teen Vaping with 60-Day Warning
By Sandy Schroeder
If you have pre-teen or teenage kids, you may be closely following the news on electronic cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just said teenage vaping has reached “epidemic proportions.” They have notified makers of the electronic devices they have 60 days to prove minors are being kept away from these products or face product shutdowns.
Zeroing in on makers and sellers of e-cigarettes, the FDA threatened to yank the popular dessert flavored products off of the market and fine companies permitting bulk sales online. Federal law prohibits selling e-cigarettes to anyone under age 18.
Warning letters have gone out to Circle K, Shell gas stations, Walgreens and 7-Eleven stores along with a stream of fines from $300 to almost $12,000 for violations, according to the New York Times.
Two Million Kids Already Involved
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said more than 2 million middle-school and high school students used e-cigarettes last year. Annually, cigarettes kill 480,000 people each year, but the most alarming image of all may be the number of teenagers who have never smoked, who may now become hooked on nicotine with vaping.
How It Looks Out There
Noting how vulnerable the teenage brain is to addiction, the FDA has been focusing on Juul Labs' market-dominating device that looks like a flash drive and delivers intense nicotine hits. It comes with eight different pod flavors including crème, menthol and mango.
Investors say Juul is valued at $16 billion as it controls 72 percent of the market.
As we hear the cash registers ringing and see the makers and stores raking in the cash, the obvious big loser is a pre-teen or teenager who may be signing onto a potentially lifetime nicotine addiction. If you have ever smoked, or still do, you know just how tough it is to shake nicotine addiction. Why should we allow our kids to follow that same path?
Parents, community leaders and legislators watching this spectacle will want to support the FDA to help find new ways to narrow the channels for this extremely attractive menace or push for a product shutdown. Take a look around your community to see what is happening. Talk to local school officials, neighborhood stores and friends and neighbors to help stymie teenage use of e-cigarettes now.
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