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    The FDA Warns Against E-Cigarettes

    A youth education campaign about e-cigarettes is part of FDA’s tobacco/nicotine plan.

    The FDA is planning to launch a public health education campaign to discourage young people from using electronic cigarettes. The campaign is part of the FDA’s comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation aimed at reducing tobacco-related disease and death. 

    The campaign will be part of the “The Real Cost” public education campaign, which will be expanded to include messages to teens about the dangers from using e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). It will start this fall while the agency develops a full-scale campaign that will launch next year.

    These efforts are part of the FDA’s comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that was announced in late July. It is also part of ongoing efforts to educate young people about, and protect them from, the dangers associated with using all tobacco products. It is the first time the FDA will be using public health education targeting young people about e-cigarettes or other ENDS.

    Related article: FDA expands its authority over tobacco products

     “Educating youth about the dangers of tobacco products has been a cornerstone of our efforts to reduce the harms caused by these products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “Including e-cigarettes and other ENDS products in our prevention work not only makes sense, it reflects the troubling reality that they are the most commonly-used tobacco product among youth.”

    The comprehensive plan will “serve as a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death. The approach places nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of the agency’s tobacco regulation efforts,” according to an FDA statement. “The goal is to ensure that the FDA has the proper scientific and regulatory foundation to efficiently and effectively implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.”

    Part of the FDA comprehensive plan is a proposal to lower the amount of nicotine in regular cigarettes. The plan also extends the deadline by which makers of e-cigarettes products will be required to apply for permission to sell them. Public health activists want reduced nicotine in cigarettes as a way to wean the public off them, while e-cigarette makers want to avoid heavy regulations on their industry.

    Valerie DeBenedette
    Valerie DeBenedette is Managing Editor of Drug Topics.

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