FDA chief calls for meeting with CEOs of e-cigarette companies amid crackdown

The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday called for a meeting with executives from top e-cigarette companies to discuss their commitments to help stop a rise in teen vaping.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested that some executives have backed down from their commitments. He said he will be sending letters asking the CEOs of vaping companies to meet to “discuss commitments they made last month, and why some are changing course.”

“There’s no reason manufacturers must wait for #FDA to more forcefully address the epidemic,” Gottlieb wrote in a series of tweets Thursday. “Yet some already appear to back away from commitments made to FDA and the public.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The federal government has been grappling with a massive spike in teen vaping. The surgeon general issued a rare public health advisory about teen vaping earlier this month and called for more restrictions, like increased taxes and indoor e-cigarette bans, to combat teen vaping.

The FDA recently 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.

The culmination of the agency’s efforts came when the FDA announced a proposal in November to restrict the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes — popular among young people — to age-limited, in-person locations.

“This is an urgent matter. We're at a critical juncture. The opportunity for harm reduction for adults could be lost for a generation,” Gottlieb said Thursday in announcing his push for a meeting with vaping company CEOs.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently released data showing that the number of high school seniors who say they used an e-cigarette within the last 30 days spiked by 75 percent since last year.