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FDA To Expand E-cigarette Prevention Campaign

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will continue to take steps to tackle the epidemic of youth vaping and ensure that e-cigarettes as well as other tobacco products are not marketed or sold to youth.

Expressing concern about the rising use of e-cigarettes among the nation's youth, the FDA said it "stands ready" to accelerate the review of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products.

Last week, a U.S. District Court ordered that the makers and importers of e-cigarettes and certain other tobacco products must submit applications for their currently marketed products to the FDA within 10 months.

The court made the decision in a case filed by anti-tobacco groups that accused the FDA of shirking its legal responsibilities by allowing e-cigarette companies to remain on the market until 2022.

If the new time line is followed by the FDA, the companies would be required to submit their applications by May 2020.

"The FDA stands ready to accelerate the review of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products. And we remain committed to tackling the epidemic of youth vaping using all available regulatory tools at our disposal," acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement.

Sharpless urged companies to start submitting their applications now.

"Let me be clear with the tobacco industry: responsible manufacturers certainly don't need to wait 10 months to act," he said.

The FDA added that it will continue to expand its education efforts, such as "The Real Cost" Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign, to educate youth about the dangers of using tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Further, the agency will continue to implement policies required to prevent e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from reaching the youth.

The FDA noted that from April 2018 through April 2019, it issued more than 3,950 warning letters and more than 665 civil money penalties to brick-and-mortar and online retailers for illegal sales of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems or ENDS products.

In November 2018, the FDA imposed restrictions on sales of most flavored e-cigarettes to age-restricted stores and said it will seek a ban on menthol cigarettes as well as flavored cigarettes. The agency said it was striving to control an "astonishing" surge in teen e-cigarette use.

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