TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sales of electronic cigarettes could be halted if companies do not stop marketing the devices to youth, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., warned.
Gottlieb said he is horrified at the recent rise in teen use of e-cigarettes and that FDA efforts to get companies to voluntarily eliminate candy-flavored products and aggressive marketing have had little effect, NBC News reported.
"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," Gottlieb said Friday. "It will be game over for these products until they can successfully traverse the regulatory process."
The FDA has the authority to block e-cigarette sales and force makers to go through the formal FDA approval process but has not done so to this point. There has been a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use by U.S. high school students, and 3.6 million high school and middle school students now use e-cigarettes, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released late last year, NBC News reported.