Study: Vaping Raises Risk of Heart Attacks, Strokes, Depression

E-cigarettes may be an effective way of helping people to quit smoking regular cigarettes, but studies show that vaping is far from safe. According to the research, people who vape are more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and depression.

Using the National Health Interview Survey, researchers compared people who reported vaping to with those not reporting any e-cigarette use and found that e-cigarette users had a:

  • 55% greater risk of having a heart attack
  • 44% greater risk of circulatory problems
  • 30% higher risk of having a stroke
  • 10% higher risk of coronary artery disease

The risks were found to be significant for both regular e-cigarette users and those who only imbibe occasionally, though occasional users had slightly lower risks.

Read: Flavored Vape Juice Creates Irritating Chemicals in E-Cigarettes

In a news release, Mohinder Vindhyal, a researcher at the University of Kansas School and the study lead author, said: [2]

“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use. These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”

Those who reported vaping were more likely to complain of depression, anxiety, and emotional problems, the study found. These problems were 2.2-fold more common with e-cigarette use, and the risk was higher among vapers than among tobacco smokers. [1]

Read: Even Without Nicotine, E-Cigarette Flavorings may Damage Blood Vessels

Vindhyal said: [2]

“When the risk of heart attack increases by as much as 55% among e-cigarette users compared to nonsmokers, I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape. When we dug deeper, we found that regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease.”

I suppose the main question is: did vaping lead to issues such as heart attacks, strokes, and depression in this study, or are people who experience these issues simply more likely to vape than others?

Sources:

[1] MedPage Today

[2] UPI

Study: Smokers Often Unaware of Chemical-Cocktail in Cigarettes

Do you have any idea what ‘ingredients’ go into making cigarettes? You would be surprised to hear what things people inhale with each puff of a cigarette – besides nicotine, I mean.

tobacco-2
Source: ThinkProgress

There are about 4,800 chemicals in a cigarette, many of which are carcinogenic; but researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that the majority of smokers don’t know what they’re inhaling.

Marcella Boynton, lead author of the study, said in a press release:

“The majority of the [United States] public wants easy access to information about chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Surprisingly, our results reveal that groups one might presume to be the least psychologically motivated to look for this information, young adults and smokers, were more likely to say that they had previously looked for this information.”

For the study, data was analyzed from 5,014 American adults over age 18 who were contacted in a national telephone survey. The survey focused mainly on low-income areas, which are more likely to include people who use tobacco and suffer smoking-related health problems – the impoverished, the lesser educated, and sexual minorities.

Read: 7 Huge Detrimental Effects of Smoking

The team found that 27.5% of the respondents had sought information about the chemicals in tobacco smoke that can cause cancer and other adverse health effects.

Of the participants who had searched for information, 37.2% were between the ages of 18 and 25 – the largest percentage – and 34.3% of them were smokers. Some 26% of those who were non-smokers also said they had looked for information on cigarette smoke.

The biggest finding was that most of the participants didn’t know what’s contained in cigarette smoke, and half of them said they’d like to see that information printed on cigarette packages.

Cigarette smoke contains arsenic, ammonia, acetaldehyde, coumarin, and various other substances, most of which are known to be toxic when inhaled or ingested. The FDA lists the known toxins on the agency’s website.

However, none of this information is available to the average person who buys a pack of cigarettes. Instead, the Surgeon General provides rather vague warnings on cigarette packs about the dangers of smoking.

And since there’s such a vast number of chemicals in cigarette smoke, it’s impossible to gauge just how many health problems are caused by smoking, or how serious they are. [1]

smoking_can_damage_every_part_of_the_body
Source: IFinallyQuit.com

Read: What are the Immediate and Long-Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking?

Boynton said:

“By making tobacco chemical information available to the public and tobacco industry practice more transparent, those seeking this information may be less likely to start smoking and more likely to quit…”

The researchers found a nugget of good news, however; more than 80% of smokers interviewed for the survey expressed a desire to kick the habit. [2]

The study was published in BMC Public Health.

Sources:

[1] Medical Daily

[2] NHVoice

ThinkProgress

IFinallyQuit.com

FDA Claim: Is Vaping Really Causing Seizures in Teenagers?

In recent months, federal health officials have increasingly warned that vaping has led to an epidemic of nicotine addiction among teens. But now the Food and Drug Administration says there may be a new worry associated with vaping: It could increase the risk of seizures in young people. [1]

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement:

“We have reports indicating that some people who use e-cigarettes, especially youth and young adults, are experiencing seizures following their use.”

Read: Even Without Nicotine, E-Cigarette Flavorings may Damage Blood Vessels

Some 35 reports of seizures among teenage e-cigarette users have been made to the FDA since 2010. Experts aren’t sure what is causing them. Some of the seizures occurred in people who were vaping for the first time, while some were using other drugs at the time. Others may have had an underlying medical condition – even reporting that they had seizures before.

Frustratingly, many of the reports received by the FDA don’t include enough information for the agency to determine whether certain brands or ways of using the devices are to blame. [2]

The FDA said: [1]

“We can’t yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures. We’re sharing this early information with the public because as a public health agency, it’s our job to communicate about potential safety concerns associated with the products we regulate that are under scientific investigation by the agency.”

Is Vaping the Cause? It’s Certainly Possible …

It is possible that teens are OD’ing on nicotine. Some e-cigarettes, such as Juul, deliver nicotine more quickly, leading kids to get more of the drug than they realize. Juul, in particular, delivers a much higher dose of nicotine than combustible cigarettes. Seizures, convulsions, vomiting, and brain injury are all associated with nicotine poisoning. Some infants and children have died as a result of swallowing liquids containing nicotine, such as those found in e-cigarettes.

… But Based on This Report, There is Much more at Play

There are a few things to consider with this press release if we’re to get a more accurate reading on the situation, as opposed to simply reading headlines. Here are a few quotes from the FDA report that may take away from the hard-hitting headline you may see on the internet.

“We want to be clear that we don’t yet know if there’s a direct relationship between the use of e-cigarettes and a risk of seizure. We can’t yet say for certain that e-cigarettes are causing these seizures. We’re sharing this early information with the public because as a public health agency, it’s our job to communicate about potential safety concerns associated with the products we regulate that are under scientific investigation by the agency. This also helps encourage the public to voluntarily report additional adverse events that can better inform our work.”

Further, it seems that of the relatively minimal amount of 35 reports spanning 9 years, some of these could be linked to other substance abuse and even a prior history of having seizures.

“In a few situations, e-cigarette users reported a prior history of seizure diagnosis. A few reported cases indicated that the seizures occurred in association with the use of other substances such as marijuana or amphetamines. Seizures have been reported as occurring after a few puffs or up to one day after use.”

Read: Flavored Vape Juice Creates Irritating Chemicals in E-Cigarettes

Gottlieb and Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy said: [2]

“The FDA is committed to monitoring this issue closely and taking additional steps as necessary to protect the public, especially our nation’s youth, from the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. We will continue to provide updates as more is learned.”

The FDA is asking people to report seizures and any other unexpected health problems experienced with e-cigarettes to its Safety Reporting Portal. Just be on the look-out.

Sources:

[1] Today

[2] USA Today

Juul’s High-Nicotine Products has Led to a “Nicotine Arms Race”

Juul Labs, makers of the highly popular Juul e-cigarettes, increased the nicotine content of their products, spurring other e-cigarette makers to do the same. This, experts say in a new report, has led to a serious vaping epidemic among teens and young adults, and a nicotine “arms race” among e-cigarette companies.

Juul e-cigarettes first hit the market in 2015. Their liquid nicotine “pods” contained 5% nicotine at the time, while similar products made by other companies only contained 1-2% nicotine concentrations. Today, some competing brands contain as much as 7% nicotine.

You may hear that a single 5% pod delivers the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, and since many people vape more than 1 pod per day, the habit is causing nicotine addiction. Keep in mind, e-cigarettes are touted by the industry as a way to help adults quit smoking traditional cigarettes. When it comes to young people, e-cigarettes are having the opposite effect.

But it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly who should choose the various pod strengths based on one’s smoking habits. One pod may equal a pack of cigarettes in terms of how long it would last for a smoker, but based on the information available, it seems that the nicotine delivered is often much more than a pack of cigarettes. Vaping liquid has become extremely potent.

Robert Jackler, a researcher at Stanford University and study senior author, said during an interview:

“Until recently, most e-cigarette liquids carried 1 to 2 percent nicotine, with a few considered ‘super high’ at 3 percent, intended for the two-pack-a-day smoker.”

Hmmm, so is a 5% pod equal to a pack of cigarettes, or is as little as 3% equal to 2 packs a day?

From Juul’s website:

“Each 5% JUULpod is designed to contain approximately 0.7mL with 5% nicotine by weight (approx. 40 mg per pod based upon 59 mg/mL) at time of manufacture. Each 3% JUULpod is designed to contain approximately 0.7mL with 3% nicotine by weight (approx. 23 mg per pod based upon 35 mg/mL) at time of manufacture. Nicotine content may decrease over an extended period of time.”

According to various sellers of vaping products, a heavy smoker picking up vaping might want to start (though shouldn’t) with a strength of 24 mg/ml, while ‘normal’ smokers or those wanting to wean themselves off may begin with 14-18 mg/ml pods. Again, a 5% JUULpod contains 59 mg/ml.

Here is an image showing what I’m talking about. Note that it is from another e-cigarette seller.

And another:

On an equally-disturbing side note, a survey released earlier this year found that a whopping 63% of actual Juul users didn’t know that every Juul pod contains nicotine. 

Dr. Frank T. Leone, director of the Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program at Penn Medicine, explained that the nicotine found in Juul pods gets delivered to the brain very rapidly because of the method the company uses to increase nicotine concentrations. Leone did not participate in the study.

Juul used a patented “nicotine salt” – a mixture of nicotine and an organic acid – which masks the naturally unpleasant taste of nicotine.

Read: E-Cigarette Makers Juul, Altria Failing to Reduce Youth Vaping

Poor Regulations and Increasing Compeition

Due to the wide variation of pods, nicotine liquids, and tank systems, it has been “almost impossible to put any regulatory guardrails around these products,” Leone said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently does not require e-cigarettes go through pre-market approval before reaching store shelves. In 2017, the agency decided that vape products that were on the market prior to August 2016 could remain on store shelves through 2022 without any pre-market review. Health advocates are calling for more regulation, sooner rather than later.

Juul asserts that high-nicotine e-cigarette products existed on the market “prior to the rise and of the popularity of the Juul device.” However, Jackler pointed out that most e-cigarette products contained less nicotine. Therefore, it was the popularity of Juul that led to a widespread spike in nicotine concentrations throughout the industry.

Jackler said:

“When Juul came out with very high-nicotine electronic cigarettes, it triggered a nicotine arms race amongst competitive companies seeking to emulate the success of Juul.”

Read: The FDA is Threatening to Yank E-Cigarettes off the Market

There are 39 Juul knock-off e-cigarette devices that offer equal or higher amounts of nicotine than Juul. Worse, Jackler said many of them mislabel the amount of nicotine contained in the product. [2]

And because nicotine “juice” can be purchased in bottles, e-cig users can purchase high-nicotine liquids cheaper than they could purchase individual Juul nicotine pods. [1]

Adults and kids alike can become increasingly addicted, for less.

Jackler said:

“The rush to higher and higher nicotine concentration has reduced the cost of nicotine addiction.”

Despite the deluge of warnings over the addictive nature of Juul and copycat products, sales of Juul skyrocketed 641% from 2017 to 2018. [2]

According to Jackler, e-cigarettes are not only a gateway to traditional cigarettes, but they may also be a gateway to harder drugs.

“For a teen, becoming nicotine-addicted greatly increases the likelihood that they will graduate to traditional, combustible cigarettes. Importantly, nicotine addiction during adolescence increases the vulnerability to subsequent addictions, like opioids or cocaine. For most users of illicit drugs, their initial addiction was to cocaine.”

The report is published in the journal Tobacco Control.

Sources:

[1] CNN

[2] UPI

Fortune

Time

Smoking Really Does Speed up Aging – But by How Much?

If you’re a smoker, anti-aging creams and lemon skin treatments might not be enough to truly help you look younger. It’s generally accepted that smokers age more quickly than non-smokers, but by how much? According to a recent study, men and women who puff-puff for years on end are about twice as old as their chronological age. [1]

The findings were reported in January in Scientific Reports.

In a news release, study author Polina Mamoshina, a senior research scientist at artificial intelligence solutions company Insilico Medicine, said:

“Smoking is a real problem that destroys people’s health, causes premature deaths, and is often the cause of many serious diseases.”

No shock there.

Read: 7 Huge Detrimental Effects of Smoking

Smoking kills about 48,000 Americans each year, yet 38 million Americans continue to light up. Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States. It’s a tough addiction to kick since a single puff almost immediately calms the user.

For the study, Mamoshina and colleagues used artificial intelligence to evaluate the impact of smoking using blood biochemistry. An age-prediction model developed by supervised deep learning techniques helped the authors analyze several biochemical markers, including measures based on glycated hemoglobin, urea, fasting glucose, and ferritin. [2]

The findings revealed that both male and female smokers were predicted to be twice as old as their chronological age, compared to non-smokers.

Read: Photographic Proof that Smoking Causes Premature Aging

Obviously, that’s bad news. But something positive did come from the findings. Studies of smokers typically rely on self-reporting, i.e., smokers tell researchers how often they light up. But the study shows that deep learning analysis of routine blood tests could replace that unreliable method and evaluate the influence that other lifestyle and environmental factors have on aging.

You might have heard that “50 is the new 30.” Well, if you’re a smoker, it’s the other way around. Cigarettes just aren’t worth it. Quitting smoking not only extends your life but improves the quality of it.

Sources:

[1] UPI

[2] Economic Times

The FDA is Threatening to Yank E-Cigarettes off the Market

In the past year, it has become increasingly-evident that there is a vaping epidemic among the nation’s youth. Though it’s unknown how much of a ‘gateway’ vaping may be to regular tobacco use among teens and young adults, it’s certainly true that many more kids who wouldn’t smoke at all are trying e-cigarettes. To tackle the problem, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is threatening to remove e-cigarette products from the market.

Why not regular tobacco cigarettes? Let’s be honest – there’s too much money wrapped up in the tobacco industry to do that.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in mid-January that e-cigarette makers face an “existential threat” if they don’t take strict action to prevent youth vaping.

Read: Vaping May Be Overriding Efforts to Get Kids to Quit Smoking

“I still believe e-cigs offer an opportunity for currently addicted adult smokers to transition off cigarettes and onto products that may not have the same level of risks. But if youth use continues to rise, the entire category faces an existential threat.

I believe if every currently addicted adult smoker switched completely to e-cigs it would provide a tremendous public health gain. But that opportunity is in significant risk if kids’ use continues to rise.”

The rise in youth vaping is indeed shocking. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 78% increase in current e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48% increase among middle school students, the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey shows.

With e-cigarette use skyrocketing among teens and pre-teens, Gottlieb said he is ready to yank all vape products from store shelves if e-cigarette makers don’t take the problem seriously and make strides toward tackling the issue.

“[I]f the epidemic continues to mount, I’m sure that the debate will change to one of whether these products should continue to be marketed at all without authorized pre-market tobacco applications.

It could be ‘game over’ for some of these products until they can successfully traverse the regulatory process. I think the stakes are that high. And would be a blow for all of the currently addicted adult smokers who, I believe, could potentially benefit from these products.”

Groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network would love to see e-cigarette products go through the formal FDA approval process, and have lamented the fact that the products have made it onto store shelves without it. [2]

No More Messing Around

But now the FDA isn’t playing around. In September 2018, the agency gave e-cigarette manufacturers 2 months to come up with a plan to prevent the sale of their products to young people. Failure to do so, the FDA warned, could result in the agency requiring companies to change their sales and marketing practices, stop distributing products to retailers who sell to kids, and remove flavored e-cigarette and nicotine products from the market. The warning was aimed particularly at Juul, a popular USB drive-like vaping device which dominates the e-cigarette market and is especially popular among kids.

Then, in October 2018, the FDA raided the office of Juul and confiscated thousands of documents as part of an investigation into whether the company was deliberately targeting minors in its sales and marketing practices.

Later that month, Marlboro maker Altria said that it would pull its pod-based e-cigarettes from store shelves. And in November, Juul promised to pull some of its flavored pods from retail stores, shut down all of its social media accounts, and introduce stricter age-verification tools on its website.

But that appeared to be a ruse to buy time, as Juul and Altria announced earlier this month that Altria had agreed to purchase a 35% stake in Juul, and Altria had agreed to give Juul access to shelf space in 230,000 retail outlets where Marlboro cigarettes and other Altria products are sold.

Gottlieb is skeptical that e-cigarette companies take the youth vaping epidemic seriously.

“I have questions about whether they are living up to the very modest promises that they made. It matters if the e-cig makers can’t honor even modest, voluntary commitments that they made to the FDA.” [2]

Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, who studies youth e-cigarette use at Stanford Children’s Health, says the FDA isn’t doing itself or young people any favors by consistently pointing out that vape products are safer than combustible cigarettes.

“We need to stop saying that e-cigarettes are safe or safer and prevent e-cigarette companies from making these unauthorized risk claims. Youth hear them. We need to stop saying that e-cigarettes help adults stop smoking when there is not enough clear evidence that this is the case.

That is giving them the idea that they are therefore safe and okay to use.”

Sources:

[1] Consumer Affairs

[2] NBC News

FDA: E-Cigarette Makers Juul, Altria Failing to Reduce Youth Vaping

Juul and Altria, both makers of e-cigarettes and vape products, are in trouble with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) again, this time for reneging on a promise the companies made to the government to help curb the epidemic of youth vaping.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he is drafting letters to both companies that will criticize them for publicly vowing to remove flavored liquid nicotine pods from store shelves, while quietly working on a financial partnership that will, in fact, place even more nicotine pods on shelves.

Top executives from Juul and Altria will eventually be confronted in person at FDA headquarters, where Gottlieb said they will have to explain to agency officials how they plan to keep their promise in light of the new agreement.

On December 19, 2018, Altria, the nation’s largest traditional cigarette producer and the maker of Marlboro tobacco cigarettes, agreed to purchase a 35% stake in Juul, the rapidly-growing e-cigarette maker that has exploded in popularity among teens. Juul currently dominates more than 70% of the e-cigarette market. The deal is worth about $13 billion.

When e-cigarettes first hit the market, the products were touted as effective smoking-cessation tools. But vaping became highly attractive to teenagers and young adults in large part due to the flavored nicotine pods used in the devices. Juul, in particular, is a favorite among younger people.

Source: Vox.com

Vaping has helped many people quit smoking, but a number of studies in recent years show that vaping may be creating a new generation of nicotine addicts. In fact, research indicates that a large percentage of teenagers who start vaping eventually graduate to traditional – and more dangerous – tobacco cigarettes.

Altria and Juul acknowledged this link and vowed to do their best to curb kids’ access to their products.

Gottlieb said:

“Juul and Altria made very specific assertions in their letters and statements to the FDA about the drivers of the youth epidemic. Their recent actions and statements appear to be inconsistent with those commitments.”

Back in October, Altria agreed to stop selling pod-based e-cigarettes until the FDA gave the company permission to start up again, or until the youth problem was otherwise addressed. In a letter to the agency, Howard A. Willard III, Altria’s chief executive, agreed that pod-based vaping products significantly contribute to the rise in youth vaping. It also said at the time that it would support federal legislation to increase the legal age to purchase any tobacco or vaping product to 21.

But the new deal between Juul and Altria will give Juul access to shelf space in 230,000 retail outlets where Marlboro cigarettes and other Altria tobacco products are sold. (Juul products are currently sold in 90,000 stores.) The FDA could ask Altria to restrict sales of flavored nicotine pods on its shelf space, but it is unlikely the company will comply with that request.

In September, the FDA warned Altria, Juul and 3 other e-cigarette companies that they had 2 months to figure out how they would prove to the agency that they’d taken steps to prevent the sale of their products to young people. At the time, Gottlieb threatened that failure to do so would result in the companies’ products being pulled from store shelves and worse.

Read: FDA Raid Seizes Thousands of Documents from E-Cigarette Maker Juul

Shortly after the announcement, Altria, Juul, and the other companies laid out to the FDA detailed plans for how they would comply with the agency’s requirements. But if there is one thing the tobacco industry has taught us, it’s that money is more important than human health.

Gottlieb said:

“I’m reaching out to both companies to ask them to come in and explain to me why they seem to be deviating from the representation that they already made to the agency about steps they are taking to restrict their products in a way that will decrease access to kids.”

The deal between Juul and Altria increased Juul’s value to about $38 billion, but even the company’s own employees argued that the deal contradicted Juul’s mission statement. [2]

Sources:

[1] The New York Times

[2] Gizmodo

Vox

SeekingAlpha

Time

U.S. Cigarette Smoking Rates Fall to Historically-Low Levels

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered some good news on November 8 when it released data showing that smoking rates in the U.S. are the lowest they’ve ever been. Unfortunately, there was some bad news to go with it.

 

  • Smoking rates have fallen by 67% since 1965 when the U.S. government first began tracking smoking rates.
  • An estimated 14% of adults smoked in 2017, down from 15.5% in 2016.
  • The rates were even lower among adults 18-24: from 13% in 2016 to 10% in 2017.

In a press release, CDC Director Robert Redfield said:

“This new all-time low in cigarette smoking among U.S. adults is a tremendous public health accomplishment – and it demonstrates the importance of continued proven strategies to reduce smoking. Despite this progress, work remains to reduce the harmful health effects of tobacco use.”

While smoking rates fell, other forms of tobacco use remain prevalent, including e-cigarettes, hookahs, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and water pipes. About 47 million Americans use tobacco in some form.

When adding those other categories, 16.2% of adults, or 47 million people, used tobacco products of some kind in 2017, according to the CDC. The second-most used products behind cigarettes were cigars, cigarillos or filtered little cigars, with 3.8% of adults (9.3 million people) saying they used them. [2]

E-cigarettes have been touted as a smoking cessation method, and many people swear by it. However, overall, the nicotine delivery devices have proven to be more harmful than helpful.

Brian King, a deputy director in the CDC’s office on smoking and health, said:

“If e-cigarette use was responsible [for declines in cigarette use], you would expect to see a perfect correlation, but that’s not what we’re seeing. If anything, e-cigarettes have complicated the tobacco product landscape.”

A Pricey Coping Mechanism

The CDC says in the report that certain groups of people were more likely to use tobacco than others, including: [1]

  • People with incomes below $35,000
  • Those who had a GED
  • The uninsured
  • Those insured by Medicaid or who received public assistance

Among ethnic groups, non-Hispanic American Indian/Native Americans, multiracial Americans, and white or black adults were the most likely to use tobacco.

Adults who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual were also more likely to use, as well as those who were divorced, separated, widowed, single, never-married, or not living with a partner.

Adults living in the Midwest or the south tended to use tobacco the most.

Have you started to see a pattern yet? In many cases, tobacco users tended to be those facing hardship and stress. Indeed, the CDC mentioned in its report that psychological distress was associated with an increase in tobacco use, with 40.8% of adults who reported distress saying they used tobacco compared to 18.5% who reported not being severely distressed.

NCI Director Dr. Norman E. Sharpless said in the press release:

“For more than half a century, cigarette smoking has been the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Eliminating smoking in America would, over time, eliminate about 1/3 of all cancer deaths. The persistent disparities in adult smoking prevalence described in this report emphasize the need for further research to accelerate reductions in tobacco use among all Americans.”

Government Crackdown

https://www.123rf.com/photo_34581221_hand-holding-an-electronic-cigarette-over-a-dark-background.html?term=e%2Bcigarettes&vti=ljyupdbyuqghko4iqh-1-12

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he was encouraged by the findings and said the FDA is committed to accelerating declines. [3]

“We’ve taken new steps to ultimately render combustible cigarettes minimally or non-addictive and to advance a framework to encourage innovation of potentially less harmful products such as e-cigarettes for adults who still seek access to nicotine, as well as support the development of novel nicotine replacement drug therapies. At the same time, we’re also working to protect kids from the dangers of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes.”

In September, the agency warned 5 e-cigarette makers, including Juul, that they had 2 months to prove to the FDA that they’d taken steps to prevent the sale of their products to young people.

The companies were told that their failure to do so could result in the agency requiring them to change their sales and marketing practices, stop their distributing of products to retailers who sell to kids, and the removal of flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine products from the market.

Then, in early October, the FDA raided the Juul offices and confiscated thousands of documents as part of its effort to pressure the company into doing more to keep its products out of the hands of young people.

Juul e-cigarettes, which look like USB drives, are extremely popular among high-schoolers. The devices come with pods filled with nicotine liquid that is available in 6 flavors. Each pod delivers as much nicotine as up to 2 packs of cigarettes. [4]

Sources:

[1] ABC News

[2] CNBC

[3] CBS News

[4] Vox