By IBRAHIM GRAY
In response to the growing prevalence of vaping among teenagers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last Wednesday issued a warning requiring electronic cigarette manufacturers to prove within 60 days that their devices are not marketed toward minors.
If manufacturers fail to do so, the FDA threatens to ban certain e-cigarettes, such as JUUL, from the market.
A 2016 Surgeon General’s report first captured the rise in vaping among minors. Some experts worry that e-cigarettes companies are putting out flavors trying to appeal to a younger audience, such as mango and creme brulee, which can serve as a gateway to smoking tobacco products.
E-cigarettes, particularly JUUL, are ubiquitous on college campuses. Students can be found vaping while walking between classes, in dorms and at parties.
Older students who vape do not plan to stop and are unfazed by the FDA’s warnings.
Meanwhile, some e-cigarette vendors believe further regulation could hurt adults trying to quit smoking. In recent months, the U.S. government has taken closer aim at e-cigarette manufacturers.
The FDA opened an investigation into JUUL’s marketing practices in April and the department has begun alerting teenagers about the risks of vaping.
In spite of the government’s concerns, Farok claimed most of his customers are of legal age to purchase e-cigarettes, leading him to question whether concerns about underage vaping are warranted.