HealthDay News — As part of the US Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to reduce teens’ use of flavored electronic cigarettes, a ban on sales of most flavored e-cigarettes in retail stores and gas stations across the United States is to be introduced, according to media reports.
A senior FDA official said details of the ban would be announced next week and that menthol and mint flavors would be exempt, The New York Times reported. The agency will also mandate age-verification measures for online sales to prevent minors from buying the flavor pods.
The FDA launched a crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes earlier this year, as the number of teens using the products reached epidemic proportions, The Times reported. The latest measures come after months of meetings between the FDA and e-cigarette makers on how to reduce teen use of the devices. In a statement last week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said some e-cigarette makers seemed to support raising the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21 years.
The FDA has warned several e-cigarette makers to stop marketing to teenagers or risk being banned. Major companies were given 60 days to prove they could keep their devices away from minors, and the deadline is this weekend. The agency also warned 1100 retailers to stop selling e-cigarettes to minors and fined some of them, The Times reported.