Thursday January 23, 2020

FDA Proposes to Curb Sales of Flavoured E-cigarettes to Teenagers

The health regulator also proposed pre-market applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by August 8, 2021

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e-cigarette, vaping
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. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that's sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed to curb sales of flavoured e-cigarettes to teenagers.

The health regulator on Wednesday said that it is proposing to end all flavoured electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products such as electronic cigarettes, except tobacco, mint and menthol-flavoured products.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 3.6 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes last year.

“Evidence shows that youth are especially attracted to flavoured 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,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement.

“With these concerns in mind, today, we’re advancing our policies aimed at preventing youth access to, and appeal of, flavoured e-cigarettes and cigars.”

E-cigarettes, Smokers
Talia Eisenberg, co-founder of the Henley Vaporium, uses her vaping device in New York, Feb. 20, 2014. VOA

The new proposed policy also subjects all manufacturers and retailers to FDA enforcement for selling certain flavoured ENDS products without authorisation.

The FDA had previously threatened to ban most flavoured e-cigarettes in 2017 but did not take any enforcement moves.

However, with the new policy, FDA intends to prioritise its enforcement to focus on protecting youth from becoming addicted to nicotine.

Also Read- Eating Mushrooms May Prevent Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

It believes, at the same time, “that ENDS products still hold promise to help transition currently addicted adult smokers to potentially less harmful sources of nicotine”, Gottlieb said.

The health regulator also proposed pre-market applications for all flavoured e-cigarette products that continue to be sold by August 8, 2021. (IANS)

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Promotional E-Cigarettes Posts on Instagram Outnumber Anti-Vaping Content: Study

E-cigarette popular on Instagram despite anti-vaping content

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e-cigarettes
Despite "The Real Cost" awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes. Pixabay

Promotional e-cigarettes posts on popular photo-sharing platform Instagram outnumber anti-vaping content 10,000 to one, according to a new study and health news.

Despite “The Real Cost” awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes, the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Communication, highlights the limited impact of the FDA campaign, while also using deep learning – an artificial intelligence method – to better understand the marketing tactics used by vaping companies.

“US public health officials have been calling vaping among youth an epidemic and have been putting a lot of effort into trying to stop this epidemic by introducing #TheRealCost anti-vaping campaign but this stark imbalance in the volume of posts has caused the FDA message to be overwhelmed by marketing from the vaping brands,” said study researcher Julia Vassey from University of California in the US.

e-cigarettes
Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses and breathing troubles. Pixabay

Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses and breathing troubles, the study said.

To further understand how vaping is perceived on social media, research team collected 245,894 Instagram posts spanning from before and after the #TheRealCost campaign launch.

The team also conducted interviews with five vaping influencers and eight college-age social media users. “We focused on Instagram because the vaping influencers we interviewed for this study identified Instagram as their most important social media marketing platform,” Vassey explained.

“Based on the results, the FDA anti-vaping campaign is not very popular and we saw Instagram user comments disputing the FDA claims of damaging health effects from nicotine and calling the campaign propaganda,” Vassey added.

Also Read- Drugs That Treat Arthritis in Dogs Can Kill Cancer Cells: Study

In contrast to the FDA’s intentions, the study found that vaping posts received nearly three times more “likes” after the campaign launch. They also found that there were six times as many posts that had greater than 100 likes.

According to the researchers, participants in the focus groups suggested that the anti-vaping campaign promoted scare tactics rather than offering guidance on how to quit vaping. (IANS)