The increased use of vaping and electronic cigarettes, especially among minors, has led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban online selling of these products. As U.S Food and Drug Administration observed, the online selling and the use of e-cigarettes has rapidly increased. This has, as a result, underage children using these products, although they are forbidden. Vaping, which is when a consumer inhales vapor from an e-cigarette, is a very popular method of smoking for minors. In an official statement and in various media interviews, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said e-cigarette use among teenagers has reached an “epidemic proportion” and is growing, and that is the reason why FDA is considering more restrictions. In the other side, online retailers and manufacturers of vape-related products are worried about their industry and how this will harm the increased sales. Several online retailers and manufacturers of vaping-related products agree that their products should not be in use by teenagers but also they insist that the banning of online sales is not the real solution.
Specifically, the number of underage who smoke e-cigarettes has increased 75% in the past year, according to the FDA, and in 2017, more than 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco, but still, they contain nicotine which is harmful for brain development that’s why the users should be over 18 years old. The problem of vaping by minors depends on appeal and access. Teenagers find it easy to buy online e-cigarettes and also these products are very appealing for children, the variety of flavors make it even more appealing. The banning of online sales and banning of flavors are a solution for this problem.
E-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc., which is one of the largest e-cigarette manufacturers, helped FDA by realizing more than 1,000 pages of sales and marketing documents. This willingness by Juul’s to work with the FDA and prevent underage use made very happy the CEO, Burns who said: “Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch. By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission”.