FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has threatened to remove e-cigarettes from the market unless companies ‘live up to the very modest promises they have made’.
The comments were made at a hearing where experts discussed how to help teenagers break their addiction to the nicotine in e-cigarettes.
According to the FDA, vaping among high school students rose by 78 percent over the past year.
“I’ll tell you this. If the youth use continues to rise, and we see significant increases in use in 2019, on top of the dramatic rise in 2018, the entire category will face an existential threat.”
Gottlieb believes that the declining number of traditional tobacco smokers has been undercut by the growing number of young people using e-cigarettes.
The FDA chief has been highly critical of the vaping industry and JUUL in particular for not doing more to stop teenagers from accessing e-cigarettes.
JUUL issued the following statement in response to a WPTV story:
“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 [newsroom.juul.com] 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.”