FDA to ban sale of flavored e-cigarettes: report

FDA to ban sale of flavored e-cigarettes: report
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The Food and Drug Administration is planning to ban flavored e-cigarette products, a drastic step in response to a dramatic increase in vaping among teenagers.

According to The Washington Post, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which represent the majority of vaping products sold, in convenience stores and gas stations across the country. The announcement could come as soon as next week.

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The agency will also impose new rules to curb illegal sales of e-cigarettes products to minors, including age-verification requirements on online sales, according to the Post.

The FDA did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Gottlieb has threatened a ban on flavored e-liquids if five of the products' largest manufacturers can’t come up with adequate plans to help keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of those under the age of 18.

The FDA also recently sent more than 1,300 letters to brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers warning them that they could face penalties for allegedly selling ­e-cigarettes to people younger than 18.

Gottlieb has changed his stance on e-cigarettes in recent months. Last spring, the agency loosened regulations on the products. Gottlieb said he wanted to promote innovation of products that were key to helping adults quit smoking traditional cigarettes.

But as vaping among teenagers has skyrocketed, Gottlieb has clamped down. He launched a major push to stop e-cigarette sales to minors, accusing manufacturers and retailers of contributing to an “epidemic” of use among kids and teenagers.

FDA’s actions have focused on cartridge-based e-cigarettes, and not the open-tank vaping products. Gottlieb has said the greatest youth use is among cartridge-based products.