FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids

Dr. Scott Gottlieb:

 Well, the bottom line is all options are on the table.

And if the trends in use that we’re seeing right now continue, we’re going to have to take even more dramatic actions. We think right now we can step into this market with a combination of enforcement actions against the places that we know kids are getting access to these products, which includes retail establishments that are selling them without putting proper restrictions in place or without carding minors, as well as the online sites, where we think that there are a straw purchases being made, where — where someone’s going online, buying a lot of these products, and then reselling them to kids.

But the other action we would take immediately is look at removing these flavored products in the market. If we don’t think that those actions are sufficient to try to curtail the scope of use that we’re now seeing among kids, we’re willing to step into the market and take even more dramatic action.

Now, I will say we do think the e-cigarettes offer a viable alternative for adult smokers. So we don’t want to — we don’t want to extinguish this opportunity entirely, because we do see some potential benefit from having these products on the market as a way for adult smokers to get access to nicotine, without all the harmful effects of combusting tobacco.

But it’s going to have to come, I think, going forward with some additional limitations on the availability and the types of products being marketed in order to stem what we’re seeing as an epidemic of use among kids.