The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces a Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to stop kids from buying JUUL and other e-cigarettes from retailers and online sellers.
The Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan includes nationwide and undercover crackdown at brick-and-mortar and online retailers including eBay. The authorities have also sent a letter to JUUL manufacturers asking them to explain why its merchandise seems to have a special appeal targeted to the youth.
Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, explains in detail the five steps that the administration is taking to guarantee quick and effective implementation of the new plan.
Undercover Nationwide Blitz
Gottlieb states that the undercover crackdown has started on April 6 and will be continued until the end of the month. The authorities are particularly after at retailers that sell JUUL and other tobacco products to minors.
The administration has also sent warning letters to 40 retailers that were found to be selling the e-cigarette brand to kids. Gottlieb highlights that retailers will be held accountable if they are found to continue this activity.
Concerns Over eBay
As part of the plan, the FDA contacted eBay regarding several listings for JUUL products. Gottlieb thanks the company for its swift action to remove the listings. eBay has also voluntarily implemented new measures that prevent anyone from listing JUUL on the platform.
Gottlieb says it marks an important step in making sure that JUUL or any other e-cigarettes will no longer be accessible to kids by any other means.
A Letter To JUUL
FDA has sent a letter directly to the manufacturers of all products in question. As for the JUUL Labs, the agency specifically requested for documents that will explain the reportedly high rates of use and the particular appeal of these products among the youth.
The documents requested include information on its product marketing, research on the health, toxicological, behavioral, or physiological effects of the products, as well as youth initiation and use.
The administration also asks JUUL Labs whether certain product design features and ingredients are, in fact, designed to appeal to different age groups.
Through this, FDA hopes to know as to why JUUL became so popular among the young people.
FDA will also act upon companies that could possibly be campaigning or promoting the products in ways that are misleading to kids.
In answer to these campaigns, the administration will design its own science-based campaigns that will educate the youth about the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes.
An Intense Focus On Youth
Ultimately, FDA wants to make tobacco less toxic and equally less appealing and addictive to kids. It aims to devise product standard guidelines that will cover e-cigarettes, including exploding batteries and accidental ingestion.