HHS supports FDA’s proposed e-cigarette crackdown, HHS Chief Azar says

Regulators aren’t going to allow what they’re calling an epidemic of e-cigarette use among teens become a “pathway to nicotine dependency,” Health as well as Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNBC on Friday.

The e-cigarette craze has driven what’s arguably the largest uptick in teen nicotine use in decades after years of driving cigarette smoking rates to record lows. Teens who might have never smoked cigarettes are happily inhaling fruity flavors, sometimes without realizing which is actually packed with nicotine, an addictive substance.

In response, the Food as well as Drug Administration earlier which week threatened to pull e-cigarettes via shelves if manufacturers do not control teen use. The agency is actually specifically ordering several brands — Juul, British American Tobacco’s Vuse, Altria’s MarkTen, Imperial Brands’ Blu E-cigs as well as Japan Tobacco’s Logic — to submit plans within 60 days detailing how they will prevent teens via using their products.

Azar said he “completely supports” the FDA in its proposed crackdown Friday in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” A father of teens himself, he said he sees the “pervasiveness” as well as “rapid spread” of teen e-cigarette use.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Thursday which the FDA will soon publicly Discharge fresh data showing which the proportion of high school teenagers using e-cigarettes has “reached nothing short of an epidemic.”

Tobacco stocks surged after the news, as investors speculated which was not bad news for cigarettes as well as a win for Big Tobacco.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate on the why the stock market reacts from the way which which does,” Azar said. “I think which’s also important to remember … combustible companies also do have e-cigarette product lines, as well as they may be forecasting which as we move into a much more heightened regulatory framework, capabilities as well as capacities to deal that has a heightened regulatory environment.”

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