SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking steps to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes and vapor products, but Commissioner Scott Gottlieb signaled the agency may take those restrictions one step further.
Speaking at a Brookings Institution event on March 19, Gottlieb said the FDA is likely to consider removing all pod and cartridge e-cigarettes from the market. The move could come if this year’s national youth tobacco survey shows an increase in the products’ use among underage users, according to a report by Politico.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.
Gottlieb’s comments came one week after the agency released its draft guidance on e-cigarette sale restrictions. The proposed rules tightens up the compliance policy as it applies to flavored electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products such as electronic cigarettes, and prioritizes enforcement of their sale to shut down youth access.
The proposal does not include tobacco, mint and menthol flavors.
The stricter compliance policy would effectively remove flavored tobacco products from convenience stores, allowing sales only in adult-only, age-restricted outlets like tobacco shops, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
One of Gottlieb’s areas of focus during his tenure as FDA commissioner has been youth access to tobacco products, including e-cigarette and vapor products as their use grows in popularity among underage users.
Notably, in April 2018, the agency unveiled an enforcement approach for vaping products as part of its new Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan.
However, Gottlieb most likely will not be at the helm when any new compliance policies go into effect. The commissioner announced his resignation in early March and is set to step down in the coming weeks.