Teenagers Keep Vaping Despite Crackdowns on E-Cigarettes –


Linda Neff, chief of the epidemiology branch in the C.D.C.’s Office on Smoking and Health, said that the sheer number of young people continuing to vape suggested the agency needed to keep working to educate teens about the effects of nicotine addiction, which “harms the parts of the brain that control learning, mood and impulse control.”

“The frequency of use is disturbing,” she said. “It’s alarming.”

The Food and Drug Administration considers e-cigarettes to be generally beneficial to the extent that they provide an alternative to adult users of traditional cigarettes, which coat the lungs in tar. The agency’s hope for health gains, though, has existed in the shadow of a youth vaping crisis that exploded in 2018-19, prompting an outcry from parents, schools, lawmakers and public health experts.

The F.D.A. began to crack down on vape makers in 2019, banning many flavors and ordering manufacturers to apply for marketing authorization to keep their products on the market — an ongoing process. That effort has been challenged by e-cigarette makers who saw a loophole in making e-cigarettes with synthetic nicotine and jumped into the market with blueberry, kiwi and candy-flavored vapes.

This spring Congress gave the F.D.A. the authority to rein in those devices. The agency said it was reviewing about one million applications to sell synthetic nicotine products. In July, the agency gained authority to remove unauthorized non-tobacco products from the market but has said it needs to move methodically as it enforces the law.

On Thursday, the agency announced that it sent new warning letters to two companies that teenagers singled out as go-to brands in the survey. The F.D.A. issued its second warning to the maker of Puff Bar vapes, this time about its flavored synthetic nicotine products that the agency said were being sold illegally.

The F.D.A. also said Thursday that it denied marketing authorization to Hyde, a company that about 5 percent of adolescents wrote in on the survey as a favored brand — suggesting the rate is higher. The company’s website shows flavors including “pink burst” and “lemon drop.”

In a statement, the agency said that Hyde must stop selling its products or “risk enforcement action.”

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