KHN Morning Briefing (Thursday, March 14, 2019)
Convenience stores and gas stations will be barred from selling e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco, mint and menthol unless they prevent minors from entering the store altogether or create a separate section of the store that minors can’t enter. Departing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued the rules in the final weeks of his tenure.
The New York Times: F.D.A. Moves To Restrict Flavored E-Cigarette Sales To Teenagers With a few weeks left in his tenure as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Wednesday moved to restrict sales of flavored e-cigarettes to try to reduce the soaring rate of teenage vaping. The agency issued a proposal requiring that stores sequester flavored e-cigarettes to areas off limits to anyone under age 18. Retailers, including convenience stores and gas stations, will be expected to verify the age of their customers. (Kaplan, 3/13)
Reuters: U.S. Proposes Stricter Curbs On E-Cigarette Sales The proposal would allow traditional retailers such as convenience stores to sell tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarettes, which the FDA says are more popular among adults than minors. But other flavors could only be sold in stores or online when strong age-verification protocols are in place. In an interview on Wednesday, Gottlieb said the new guidelines give the agency flexibility to further restrict sales if youth use trends continue. (3/14)
The Wall Street Journal: FDA Sets Limits On Retail Sales Of Flavored E-Cigarettes The FDA will require all e-cigarette makers, including Juul, to submit most flavored products currently on the market to the agency for review by August 2021, a year earlier than its previous deadline. The agency will also ban the sale of all flavored cigars introduced to the market since February 2007. Separately, it is pursuing a plan to prohibit flavored cigars entirely, but the broader ban could take years to implement. (Maloney, 3/13)
The Washington Post: FDA Rolls Out Vaping Policy To Make It Harder For Minors To Buy Flavored Products The new policy would not apply to mint, menthol and tobacco flavors unless those products were being sold in a way that targeted minors, the agency said. E-cigarette advocates say those products are most often used by adult smokers trying to quit, but anti-tobacco groups are skeptical of the claim, saying there isn’t data to support it. (McGinley, 3/13)
The Hill: Outgoing FDA Chief Issues Proposal To Limit Sales Of Flavored E-Cigs “Evidence shows that youth are especially attracted to flavored e-cigarette products, and that minors are able to access these products from both brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as online, despite federal restrictions on sales to anyone under 18,” Gottlieb said in a statement. (Hellmann, 3/13)
Bloomberg: Most Flavored E-Cigarettes To Be Banned From Retail Stores The FDA has the “strong support” of President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Gottlieb said in a statement. Health advocates were concerned that Gottlieb’s departure would threaten the likelihood of e-cigarette restrictions being finalized. Azar said Tuesday that Ned Sharpless, head of the National Cancer Institute, would be acting commissioner after Gottlieb leaves later this month. Sharpless has expressed support for Gottlieb’s vaping restrictions. (Edney, 3/13)
CQ: FDA Advances E-Cigarette And Cigar Flavor Restrictions Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said, “Gottlieb deserves credit for focusing attention on this skyrocketing epidemic that is addicting a new generation of kids.” But he noted that vaping devices like JUUL will continue to be sold in age-unrestricted locations like convenience stores, even if popular fruity flavors are not available there. And the mint and menthol flavors that will continue to be sold in those locations are also popular with young people, he said. (Siddons, 3/13)
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