Outgoing FDA chief issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs

Outgoing FDA chief issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs

The FDA released its long-awaited draft regulation on e-cigarettes, just a week after commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced his intended resignation. Meanwhile, HHS chief Alex Azar faced another grilling from House Dems, and the Energy and Commerce Committee is launching an investigation into short term insurance plans.

We’ll start with the vaping announcement: 

Outgoing FDA chief issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs

Outgoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Scott Gottlieb moved to restrict sales of some flavored e-cigarettes Wednesday as part of the agency’s efforts to combat teen vaping.

The proposed guidance would limit the sales of flavored e-cigarettes to vape shops that ban sales to minors, stores that have separate off-limits areas for adults and require heightened age verification for online sales.

That would essentially end sales of e-cigarettes at gas stations and convenience stores.

“Evidence shows that youth are especially attracted to flavored e-cigarette products, and that minors are able to access these products from both brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as online, despite federal restrictions on sales to anyone under 18,” Gottlieb said in a statement.

While the proposal doesn’t apply to menthol, mint and tobacco flavors, that could change if the FDA finds kids are using those flavors.

Context: The proposed guidance isn’t much different from what Gottlieb unveiled in November. It will undergo a 30-day comment period before being finalized. Gottlieb is also leaving the FDA next month, so finalizing the guidance will likely fall to his successor.

But public health groups think the proposal doesn’t go far enough.

“Only a full prohibition on all flavored tobacco products will help prevent new, young consumers from initiating use,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Read more here.

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