LAKEVILLE, Minn. -- On Oct. 19, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb was interviewed on CNBC about underage youth access to and use of electronic cigarettes. In the interview, Gottlieb said the 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 said the agency will seek restrictions on where flavored cartridge-type e-cigarette products can be sold. In addition, Gottlieb said that in November, the FDA will release updated statistics on the use of electronic cigarettes by minors.
In the interview, Gottlieb went on say 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 … truckstops 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 Gottlieb refers to a nationwide retail and onlinecompliance 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 for allegedly selling e-cigarette products to minors illegally 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 vs. the kind and number that did not. Also, NATO will be in communication with 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.