According to Gottlieb, the FDA has conducted 908,280 inspections of tobacco retailers, issued 70,350 warning letters and initiated about 17,000 civil money penalty cases in its efforts to stop the sale of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors, reports CNN.
"As we work to keep kids from making the deadly progression from experimentation to regular cigarette use, it's imperative that we also make sure children and teenagers aren't getting hooked on more novel nicotine-delivery products", the FDA's release about the "new actions and efforts" proclaims.
"This isn't the only product that we're looking at, and this isn't the only action we're going to be taking to target youth access to tobacco products, and e-cigarettes, in particular", he said in an interview.
"We already have in place programs to prevent and, if necessary, identify and act upon these violations at retail and online marketplaces, and we will announce additional measures in the coming days". The company is committed to combatting underage use of its products and engaging with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), members of Congress, local and state officials and members of the public health community on this important issue.
In addition, Attorney General Miller and the same group will work with JUUL Labs to develop a transparent and effective framework for independent research focused on the scientific and societal implications of vapor products.
To buy Juul products on the company's website, you have to be at least 21 years old and the company does an age verification.
"Traditional tobacco companies like Brown & Williamson infamously considered adding flavors like honey and Coca-Cola to cigarettes in order to explicitly appeal to teenagers", Novak continues.
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"The most unusual part of today's announcement is that the FDA has sent an official request for documents to San Francisco-based Juul Labs". Durbin said he's pleased to see the FDA take these actions to "protect our kids from falling into a lifetime of addiction".
JUUL Labs is a consumer product company dedicated to eliminating cigarettes by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to combustible cigarettes that enables them to permanently switch.
"Though they tell us, 'We're not interested in kids, ' they come up with bubblegum-flavored vaping, mango-flavored JUULs, all these sorts of things clearly created to appeal to kids", he said.
While the FDA gained authority to regulate e-cigarettes in 2016, many anti-smoking advocates have criticized the organization for not more aggressively monitoring these companies' practices. "We said to the FDA, 'Call them on it, ' and they finally did". But the agency made a decision to delay regulations until 2022 as part of a plan to overhaul tobacco regulations.
Durbin and 10 other senators wrote a letter to FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb calling for the FDA to remove "kid-friendly" candy and fruit flavored tobacco products, according to the release.
Tuesday's FDA announcement states these new efforts are part of the agency's Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan that aims to prevent young people from using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Among those being warned were Mode E Cigarettes in Blackwood, N.J., and Top Line Vapor in Somerdale N.J.
This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.