Commentary: More to be done on e-cigarettes

Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of FDA, praises the agency's announcement that it will ban, within 30 days, flavored e-liquids other than menthol and tobacco when they are packaged into cartridges to fit on popular devices such as those marketed by Juul.

Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of FDA, praises the agency's announcement that it will ban, within 30 days, flavored e-liquids other than menthol and tobacco when they are packaged into cartridges to fit on popular devices such as those marketed by Juul. He calls on policymakers to follow up by quickly implementing and enforcing newly passed legislation that mandates a minimum age of 21 to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping products that deliver nicotine. "To fully enforce the new law, FDA should also update regulations governing the sale of tobacco products to account for the higher age restriction," says Gottlieb. "The agency can accelerate enforcement by directly issuing a final rule that conforms these regulations to the age-21 restrictions and gives states and retailers immediate guidance on how to apply the new constraints." He also urges FDA to speed up its process for reviewing e-cigarette applications by manufacturers. The announcement said companies had until May to apply. Under current conditions, most manufacturers would then have at least a year to remain on the market while the FDA reviews the submissions. "The agency can hasten things by triaging its review to prioritize applications for products that are more appealing to minors—particularly cartridge-based systems and flavored vapes," Gottlieb notes.