FDA Commissioner Calls for Meeting With Top E-Cigarette Company Execs

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FDA Commissioner Calls for Meeting With Top E-Cigarette Company Execs

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb
Scott Gottlieb calls underage use of vapor products "an urgent matter."

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to sit down with leaders in the electronic cigarette and vapor company to address the issue of underage use.

In a series on tweets on Dec. 27, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb restated his concern about the growing popularity of e-cigarette and vapor products among U.S. youth — noting that there was a 78-percent increase in teen use in 2018 and 2019 could bring more sharp increases among middle and high school students.

While the agency is taking steps to address the increase, Gottlieb said industry companies do not need to wait until the FDA takes action and implements new steps to curb underage access and usage.

"I’m writing CEOs of e-cig manufacturers asking them to meet to discuss commitments they made last month, and why some are changing course. This is an urgent matter. We're at a critical juncture. The opportunity for harm reduction for adults could be lost for a generation," he tweeted.

"The vaping community that supports harm reduction for adults should also focus more of their efforts on select manufacturers that are primarily responsible for the youth epidemic if, like #FDA, they seek to preserve these opportunities as a way to transition adult smokers," Gottlieb added.

In 2018, the FDA took a harder stance with e-cigarette and vapor companies as it launched a new youth prevention initiative April. The agency moved toward implementing changes to regulations with series of steps announced in November, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

Those steps include a proposal to remove flavored products from convenience stores, allowing sales only in age-restricted locations or online under a stricter verification process.