On Friday, October 19th, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb was interviewed on CNBC about underage youth access to and usage of electronic cigarettes. In the interview, Commissioner Gottlieb stated that number of underage youth using cartridge-type electronic cigarettes is increasing and that “we are going to take steps to reduce access to these products by minors and take steps to reduce their appeal.” He also stated that the agency will seek restrictions on where flavored cartridge-type e-cigarette products can be sold. In addition, Commissioner stated that in November the FDA will release updated statistics on the use of electronic cigarettes by minors.
In the interview, Commissioner Gottlieb goes on to state the following about possible restrictions on where cartridge-type flavored e-cigarettes could be sold:
“I think we are looking at what can be sold in brick and mortar stores and whether or not the flavors should be sold in regular stores…truck stops or gas stations, or whether if there are flavored products in the market they should be confined to adult-only vaping shops which generally do a better job of checking ID. A lot of the sales that we’ve seen going to minors are actually happening in the brick and mortar stores, the convenience stores.”
This statement by Commissioner Gottlieb refers to a nationwide retail and on-line compliance check campaign conducted by the FDA from June through August, 2018. When the FDA announced the results of this three-month compliance check campaign in September, the agency indicated that approximately 1,300 retailers were issued warning letters or fines who illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors during this nationwide compliance check campaign.
NATO is analyzing the FDA’s retail compliance check data for the months of June through August, 2018 as contained on the FDA website to determine the overall compliance passing rate during the three-month period this past summer and the kind and number of retail stores that passed the compliance checks versus the kind and number of retail stores that did not pass the compliance checks. Also, NATO will be in communication with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to provide information on how NATO retail members including convenience stores, tobacco stores, gasoline service stations and grocery stores responsibly sell tobacco products to adults. The vast majority of retailers follow the law and prevent the sale of tobacco products to underage individuals, which means that retailers are part of the solution to youth access to tobacco products.
To watch and listen to the CNBC interview with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, click on the following link: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/10/19/many-e-cig-sales-are-happening-in-brick-and-mortar-stores-says-fdas-gottlieb.html