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Retail sales ban expected on flavored e-cigarettes

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SILVER SPRING, Md. — Seeking to curb vaping by minors, the Food and Drug Administration is banning retail sales of most flavored e-cigarettes.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb early this month was on the verge of announcing the prohibition (which will exempt menthol and mint flavors), as well as imposing age-verification requirements for online e-cigarette sales.

The ban was prompted by data showing ­e-cigarette use up 77% this year among high schoolers and nearly 50% among middle schoolers. That means 3.5 million American schoolchildren have been vaping.

The FDA will hold a public hearing on December 5 to discuss efforts to eliminate youth e-cigarette use.

Gottlieb said the agency has been “inundated” by people asking for help in their fight against nicotine addiction in children and young adults. “We’ve heard from parents worried about their child’s use of e-cigarettes, and asking for help for their child who they believe is already addicted to nicotine. Teens have also reached out … This is distressing. It highlights that while we take new steps to prevent initiation of youth on e-cigarettes, we must also help those who may already be addicted.”

The hearing will focus on potential drug therapies to support cessation among youth, and issues impacting the development of such therapies for children.


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