FDA announces nationwide crackdown on e-cig sales to kids

FDA announces nationwide crackdown on e-cig sales to kids
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The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a nationwide crackdown on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already issued 40 warning letters to retailers who have violated the law, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday. 

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The agency will continue a large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of e-cigarettes — specifically Juul products — to minors both at stores and online retailers, Gottlieb said in a statement. 

"Let me be clear to retailers. This blitz, and resulting actions, should serve as notice that we will not tolerate the sale of any tobacco products to youth," Gottlieb said. 

The blitz, which started April 6, will continue through the end of the month. 

Juul e-cigarettes resemble a USB flash drive and contain high levels of nicotine. 

The design may have contributed to its popularity among kids, Gottlieb said. 

"We understand, by all accounts, many of them may be using products that closely resemble a USB flash drive, have high levels of nicotine and emissions that are hard to see. These characteristics may facilitate youth use, by making the products more attractive to children and teens," he said. 

Gottlieb said the FDA on Tuesday sent an official request for information to Juul Labs for documents to help the agency understand why their products appeal to kids. 

"We don’t yet fully understand why these products are so popular among youth. But it’s imperative that we figure it out, and fast. These documents may help us get there," Gottlieb said. 

Gottlieb said the FDA plans to issue additional letters to other e-cigarette manufacturers.