The US authorities have decided to introduce draconian restrictions on the sale of electronic cigarettes to stop the "epidemic" of young people irresistibly attracted to this product in its flavored form.
The US Health Organization (FDA) announced Thursday that it proposed the ban on the sale of e-flavored cigarettes on the internet. These will therefore only be available in stores, closed spaces unavailable to minors.
On the other hand, it has excluded mint and mentol-flavored electronic cigarettes, which are popular with adults and can be used to smoke.
The agency is also planning to introduce a ban on mentally cigarettes and cigars, and notes that "menthol is used to mask the repulsive aspects of smoke that discourage a child from smoking."
Before they come into force, these proposals must be submitted for public consultation until June.
The number of vapers increased 78% in US colleges from 2017 to 2018 and 48% in colleges, according to the latest data from a national survey.
"These numbers bump my conscience," replied Scott Gottlieb, director of the FDA in a statement. "This increase (in consumption) has to end … I will not let a generation of children become addicted to nicotine through electronic cigarettes," he added.
Since 2016, the FDA has regulated e-cigarettes, for example prohibited for sale to minors. But confronted with the sharp increase in the number of vapers among young Americans, she decided to shut down.
In total, 3.6 million schoolboys currently consume electronic cigarettes, 1.5 million more than 2017, said Thursday's FDA.
More than a quarter of high school students regularly weapon (at least 20 days in the last month). And 67.8% of them ejaculate fragrant e-cigarettes, the numbers rise sharply, she says.
– Future generation of smokers? –
"We will take all the necessary steps to ensure that these trends do not go on," insisted Scott Gottlieb, who raised the challenge: prevent teenage girls from becoming smokers of tomorrow, then incurable patients.
Almost all adult smokers started when they were minors, he observes.
The cigarette is still the main cause of disease prevention and death in the United States and kills approximately 480,000 Americans each year. Some 16 million Americans are also suffering from tobacco-related diseases.
Recently, Scott Gottlieb called eve- nage among young people an "epidemic".
Health experts have welcomed these proposals. "The ban on flavors, popular with teens, would definitely be an important step in combating the epidemic," said Patricia Folan, chief of Tobacco Control Center, a New York hospital network.
"It is widely known that e-cigarettes are a gateway to cigarettes for teens and young adults," said Len Horovitz, a lung specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital.
While many carcinogenic products, such as tar, are not found in electronic cigarettes, they contain nicotine, a product that is not related to cancer but causes addiction.
The FDA had previously called e-cigarette manufacturers a few weeks ago to find a way to prevent young people from buying their products.
The American tobacco group Altria (Marlboro, USA, Chesterfield, …) had taken the lead by announcing October 25 that he would stop selling some of his electronic cigarettes, the most popular among young people.
Attacked from every corner, the digital cigarettes Juul had announced Tuesday that the sale of their products also ended up to the most popular youngsters. He will stop selling most of his flavored fillings in stores, especially those directed by the FDA.
The manufacturer, whose products are highly successful among young people, will also end their marketing on social networks.
The San Francisco-based company, like many e-cigarette manufacturers, claims that their products are aimed at adult smokers who want to quit smoking.
But some of these products look like a USB stick where we put on a refill with a nicotine-containing liquid and flavored with all sorts of perfumes. Attractive for teens, they have established themselves among the world's youth.
In Europe, the effectiveness of these cigarettes, which is intended to help smokers to renounce themselves, is doubtful. In France, the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) recently launched a national study to evaluate the efficacy of this product compared to a drug.
On Wall Street, tobacco groups were cracked. The Altria share closed 3.08%, British American Tobacco down 3.64%.