An alarm is sounding from the health officials of the United States regarding the rise in use of e-cigarettes among the teenagers. The US Health officials also warned that the problem has reached epidemic levels, and also ordered the manufacturers to either setback the trend, or risk their flavored vaping products from being drawn from the market.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning, citing recent data revealing a sharp increase in underage use of the handheld nicotine products, including Juul and others.
Since the previous year, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, along with other federal officials, has discussed the potential of e-cigarettes to ween adult smokers off the addiction of cigarettes. However, this benefit has not been proven.
Moreover, Gottlieb, in an address at FDA headquarters said that he failed in predicting the current “epidemic of addiction” among youth, which is mainly driven by flavored products.
He told the agency staffers and reporters, “The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end. It’s simply not tolerable.”
E-cigarettes are vapor-emitting devices that simulate a feeling of tobacco smoking, and are generally considered a less dangerous alternative of regular cigarettes. However, the US health officials have warned that e-cigarettes contain a liquid made of nicotine, which is harmful to developing brains. Despite little research on the long-term effects, these cigarettes have grown into a multi-billion dollar industry in the US.
Health advocated have been concerned about the growing popularity of vaping products and their potential impact on smoking rates in the future. Besides, in January, a government-commissioned report found “substantial evidence” that youngsters who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try cigarettes.
Gottlieb cited unreleased federal data and research, and stated that it will be made public in upcoming months.
He said, “We didn’t foresee the extent of what’s now become one of our biggest challenges. Hindsight, and the data that’s now available to us, fully reveal these trends.”
He also said that the five largest manufacturers of e-cigarette will be given 60 days to produce plans on immediately reversing under-age use of their products.