September 30, 2020

US: FDA says regulating E-cigarettes is a top priority

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Ned Sharpless, the Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, issued a statement on Thursday which said the FDA was committed to overseeing the manufacturing, marketing, and sales of e-cigarettes, according to Reuters.

The statement came one day before a federal judge ordered the FDA to impose a 10-month deadline for the submission of e-cigarette applications, which puts more pressure on e-cigarette companies like Juul Labs Inc for their continued popularity among underage users.

The FDA proposed a shorter timeline for the companies after U.S. District Court of Maryland judges ruled in a lawsuit filed by anti-tobacco groups which said the agency exceeded its authority by allowing the e-cigarettes to remain on the market until 2022.

“I will impose a ten-month deadline for submissions and a one-year deadline for approval, as the FDA suggested,” U.S. Judge Paul Grimm wrote in a court order on Friday.

The FDA previously proposed makers of e-cigarettes had until August 2021 to submit a formal application to keep selling their products, but anti-tobacco groups and public health officials said the companies should file their submissions within 120 days.

“Today’s ruling is an important step forward for public health and validates FDA’s commitment to accelerate the review of these products, particularly the ones that are most attractive to youth,” acting FDA Commissioner Sharpless said.

Juul released a statement which said it was assessing the court’s ruling but that it was already fully committed to the FDA’s application process.

Research from the past two years has shown an “epidemic-level rise” in youth use of e-cigarettes, particularly due to flavors and packaging that appealed to younger users.

The FDA vowed to go after retailers who continue to sell and market to minors, including those online and brick-and-mortar stores.

The government also promised to continue researching the short- and long-term health effects of e-cigarettes and related products, especially to help understand if the products are less harmful to traditional cigarettes.

Sharpless said even though data has already indicated the products can reduce the use of combustible cigarettes and be less harmful than traditional products, that has to be balanced with the risk of exposing adolescents to e-cigarettes and potentially creating a much-larger population of nicotine addicts.

WN.com, Maureen Foody

For more on this story and video go to: https://article.wn.com/view/2019/07/12/FDA_Says_Regulating_ECigarettes_Is_A_Top_Priority/

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