Lawmakers urge FDA to crack down on youth vaping, e-cigarette manufacturers

Washington D.C. — Members of Congress are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take tougher action to crack down on youth vaping.

The FDA is currently in the process of deciding which e-cigarette manufacturers get to stay on the market.

More than 3.5 million youth currently use e-cigarettes, according to the FDA.

Members of Congress heard first-hand accounts from young former vapers in a video played for the House Subcommittee on Economic Consumer Policy.

“I started vaping at 17-years-old,” said a former vaper identified as Alyssa.

“I used products that were primarily the fruity flavors,” said a person identified as Sam in the video.

The Acting FDA Commissioner testified about the efforts underway by the agency to curb youth vaping.

“We’re taking steps to transform the tobacco marketplace towards one where new tobacco products on the market like c-cigarettes will have undergone careful science-based review and oversight by FDA,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.

In 2019, the Trump administration announced a ban on most e-flavored cigarettes, but it did not include menthol e-cigarettes.

Earlier this year, the FDA proposed a ban on combustible menthol cigarettes.

“Will you pledge to clear the market of menthol e-cigarettes?” asked Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chair of the Subcommittee.

“I can’t pre-judge our decisions,” said Woodcock. “What I can say is that menthol has additional properties, pharmacologic properties, that I believe potentiate the effects of nicotine addiction and make it harder to stop.”

The proposed ban on combustible menthol cigarettes is still going through a rule-making process and could take several years to go into effect.