FDA plans to restrict e-cigarettes

By Nathaniel Reyes

The Trump administration is working to ban flavored e-cigarettes after at least six deaths occurred and hundreds reported a strange lung illness with links to e-cigarette usage. E-cigarette companies have been given 30 days to pull all of their non-tobacco flavored products off of store shelves. The flavored products may return to store shelves if companies submit applications by May 2020 and receive FDA approval to resume selling flavored products.

The San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul has been accused of specifically marketing their e-cigarette flavors to youth. One cartridge made by Juul contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. A survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over a quarter of high school age teenagers had vaped in the past 30 days, with most of them vaping fruit or menthol flavors. These flavors are prominently produced and marketed by Juul. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) originally accepted the use of e-cigarettes by adults who were trying to quit smoking. However, the overwhelming amount of youth users caused the FDA to reverse their opinion on the benefits . Review of the flavors was supposed to start in the summer of this year, however, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb pushed back the review to 2022. The review has since been pushed forward to this year. 

At the time of publication, vaping lung illnesses had topped 1,000 cases across the country and the death toll from these illnesses has reached 18.