E-cigarettes and vaping products could be pulled out of the market if companies continue to market these products to young people.
Uncertain Future For E-cigarette Products
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb gave the warning at a public hearing held in Silver Spring, Maryland on Friday. He said the products face an uncertain future in the U.S. market if youth smoking rates fail to drop over the next year.
"I'll tell you this. If the youth use continues to rise, and we see significant increases in use in 2019, on top of the dramatic rise in 2018, the entire category will face an existential threat," he said.
Gottlieb cited data from the agency that show youth vaping rates climbed by nearly double over the last year because of increased availability and convenience of e-cigarette products. He singled out Juul, the most popular e-cigarette brand among high school and middle school students.
Gottlieb also said the increasing use of e-cigarettes in kids could downplay the benefits of these products in the fight against traditional smoking.
"That opportunity is in significant risk if kids use continues to rise. There's an opportunity now for responsible parties to address youth use," Gottlieb tweeted.
Effects Of E-cigarette Use On The Youth
E-cigarettes are believed to be a better alternative to smoking, but this does not necessarily mean they are healthy to use. Studies have shown how these products can have a negative effect on health, particularly on young people.
A 2018 study published in Pediatrics, for instance, found that teens who use e-cigarettes have the same toxic chemicals that are found in smokers who use tobacco cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are also used as a smoking cessation tool to that can help adult smokers quit the habit, but they may have dangerous effects on young people.
A 2018 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) warned using e-cigarettes may prompt teens to try regular cigarettes. The products may even place these young people at greater risk for addiction.