FDA Tries To Address The Rising Number Of Teens Who Smoke E-Cigarettes

Nov 16, 2018

This week the Food and Drug Administration announced a plan aimed at reducing the use of e-cigarettes by teens. The FDA wants e-cigarettes sold only in age-restricted, in-person locations and also calls for better age verification for online sales.

In this April 11, 2018 photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass.
Credit Steven Senne / AP Photo

Dr. Stephen Meister, the president of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, says the proposals are a good start.

"I wish it would go just a little bit further, and that they would ban sales of this product through the internet,” he says.

In a written statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says that the proposals seek to balance the needs of adults who transition to e-cigarettes as they try to quit smoking with the imperative to prevent teens from becoming addicted to nicotine.

A recent government study found that from 2017 to 2018, high school students' use of e-cigarettes increased 78 percent.

"For children, we need to put up barriers, and we need to raise the price,” Meiser says. “They are price sensitive."