Lawmakers want FDA to ban e-cigarette flavors targeting teens

WASHINGTON — Nearly a dozen U.S. senators, who have urged the Food and Drug Administration, to immediately ban some Juul e-cigarette flavors are getting support from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

The e-cigarette devices, which look like flash drive and easily go unnoticed by parents, pose health concerns, according to Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

“What’s really concerning is the extent to which Juul delivers high levels of nicotine to the adolescent brain,” he said.

Eleven senators — including Maryland Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine — wrote to the head of the FDA April 18 asking that the agency “take immediate steps to remove kid-friendly e-cigarette and cigar flavorings from the market.”

In addition to lawmakers taking action, Myers said six public health organizations have also called on the FDA to immediately require the withdrawal of the kid-friendly flavors that have been introduced over the last year, including mango and cool cucumber.

Meyer said his organization not only wants more restrictions, but said e-cigarette maker Juul should also be required to stop internet sales and take stronger steps to make sure it is not sold or marketed to kids.

Myers said e-cigarette manufacturers are not required to apply to the FDA to sell individual products, allowing companies to get by without oversight.

“This is why we think the response to Juul needs to focus not only on Juul but all the Juul look-alike products,” he said.

Myers said the FDA has acknowledged there is a problem. The next step, is urging the administration to taking action, he said.

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Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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