FDA Declares E-Cigarettes an Epidemic and Launches Historic Enforcement Effort
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a set of major new enforcement actions aimed at reducing the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes to teens. According to a report on NPR, the federal agency stated that e-cigarette use has reached “epidemic proportions” and that it is taking a series of “critical and historic” measures to curb this alarming trend. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA will “not tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine.”
E-Cigarette Sellers Put on Notice
As part of its enforcement actions, the agency has issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to convenience stores, gas stations and other retail outlets over the summer for selling e-cigarettes to minors. Gottlieb said this is the agency’s largest such action in its history. The FDA is also giving companies that make the most popular e-cigarettes among teens – Juul, Blu, MarkTen XL and Logic – 60 days to prove that they can keep the devices away from minors.
If that doesn’t happen, the FDA has cautioned that it will pull the devices containing flavors that appeal to children from the market. Gottlieb said what our personal injury lawyers have been asserting for a while. The tobacco industry might say they’ve changed from the days of Joe Camel. But, they’re selling the same harmful products in a different form. They are still marketing the products in a way that is appealing to youth. For example, the e-cig liquids come in flavors such as bubble gum, cotton candy and cherry, specifically to attract young people.
Anti-tobacco advocates have welcomed the FDA’s strong enforcement actions. As personal injury lawyers who represent those who have suffered the harmful effects of these products – be it health effects or as a result of fires and explosions caused by the devices and the lithium batteries that fuel them – we are relieved that the FDA is finally taking some type of action against the entities that market and sell e-cigarettes.
The Need for Regulation and Enforcement
This action from the FDA has been a long time coming. E-cigarette use has been linked to serious health problem including lung damage. Parents of underage users say in lawsuits against manufacturers of products such as Juul that their children have become so addicted that they are having trouble keeping up with school. In addition, we are representing adult users who have suffered major injuries such as burns as a result of the devices exploding and catching fire, sometimes even while in use.
If you have suffered adverse health effects or if you have been injured by a defective e-cigarette, an experienced product defect attorney who handles similar cases will be able to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.