The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is kicking off the new year much as it did in the previous year–setting its agenda that puts e-cigarettes in its crosshairs. The FDA has issued a policy prioritizing its enforcement against certain unauthorized flavored e-cigarette products that it believes appeals to kids, including fruit and mint flavors. Under the new policy, companies that don’t stop manufacturing or distributing these unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e0cigarettes within 30 days will face the risk of FDA enforcement actions.

In a press release, HHS Secretary Alex Azar used the same terminology as former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb to describe the rise of e-cigarettes and vaping among teens, referring to it as an “epidemic.” Azar want on to say that the HHS is taking a comprehensive, aggressive approach to enforcing the law that was passed by Congress which states that due to the Deeming Rule, no e-cigarette that is currently on the market is being marketed and distributed legally. The agency is prioritizing the enforcement against e-cigarettes due to their popular among children and teens but will allow for some e-cigarette products–menthol and tobacco flavored–to remain on the market for adults seeking an alternative to traditional combustible tobacco products. The agency will continue to monitor the situation and is prepared to take further actions as necessary, Azar adds.

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