FDA restricts all flavored e-cigarettes; moves to ban menthol

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By Maggie Fox

The Food and Drug Administration announced two major attacks on the tobacco industry Thursday, saying it will start the process to ban menthol in cigarettes and limit sales of flavored e-cigarettes to youths.

The FDA’s long-deliberated moves are driven by new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a 78 percent increase in vaping by high school students, with 3.6 million high school and middle school students now using e-cigarettes.

Calling the numbers “astonishing,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he was stepping up his agency’s actions to curb youth vaping.

“Among high school students, current e-cigarette use increased from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 20.8 percent in 2018,” the CDC report reads.

“These data shock my conscience: From 2017 to 2018, there was a 78 percent increase in current e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48 percent increase among middle school students,” Gottlieb said.