FDA: Teen vaping an epidemic

Local

The Federal Drug Administration is calling vaping among teenagers an “epidemic” and is warning e-cigarette companies to change their ways or risk getting pulled from the shelves.

E-cigarette companies have been accused of marketing their product toward young people and making claims that they’re healthier than traditional cigarettes. But the FDA said they can’t make those claims because there isn’t enough evidence to prove it.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said e-cigarettes have become an almost ubiquitous and dangerous trend among teens.

“We don’t really know the full effects of that, but we know that they aren’t safe, especially in children and young adults,” local pediatrician Dr. James Saperstone said.

JUUL is one of the e-cigarette companies the FDA accused of marketing toward young teens and is now demanding they make changes.

JUUL responded with the following statement:

We are committed to preventing underage use, and we want to engage with the FDA, lawmakers, public health advocates, and others to keep JUUL out of the hands of young people.

Dr. Saperstone said one of the main problems is the high nicotine levels.

“We don’t have any long-term studies,” he said. “We kind of always gloss over the nicotine. Nicotine is just as much of a problem in regular cigarettes, and it’s a major problem in these e-cigarettes.”

Dr. Saperstone urged parents to sit down with their kids to discuss the risks.

“We don’t know what the outcome is going to be in 10 years, 20 years, and yeah, I had a talk with my kids and they are not part of that,” he said.

E-cigarette companies have 60 days to prove they are doing everything they can to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children. If not, the FDA could halt sales.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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