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US moves on e-cigs and flavours

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The Food and Drug Administration in the United States of America has launched a huge effort to counter underage use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

In a multifaceted attack, the FDA has limited sales of many flavoured e-cigarettes to outlets that have either age-restricted entry or age-restricted areas inside stores.

Online sales will also require more stringent verification.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the organisation’s aim was to make sure no child could access a fruity flavour product in a convenience store.

He said shops wanting to sell fruit-flavoured e-cigarette products needed to age-restrict completely or have a separate room that is age-verified.

“A curtain or a partition won’t cut it,” he said.

“The bottom line is this – I will not allow a generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes.” 

He said he didn’t believe that vaping and tobacco shops would have trouble complying.

The restrictions reflect concerns that vaping could lead to nicotine addiction early in life and affect the developing adolescent brain.

Concerns are too that young vapers will eventually start smoking more harmful tobacco products such as regular cigarettes.

The FDA plans also to ban menthol and other flavours in cigarettes and cigars, but that will require new regulations that could take years to kick in.