The FDA just unveiled exactly how it plans to combat teen vaping. In a new policy announcement, the agency focused on tightening restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes in a few ways. First, the regulations would limit sales of most flavored vape products to retailers and websites that impose strict age-verification processes. Tobacco, mint and menthol flavors would be excluded, because health experts says those flavors help adult smokers transition away from traditional cigarettes. The policy would also stop sales of e-cigarette products that appeal to minors, like those made to look like candy or juices. In addition, it moves up the e-cigarette FDA review process by one year, cutting off a previous extension. According to the agency, companies that don't comply with the new guidelines could have their products pulled off the market altogether. Combating the youth vaping trend is a topic outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has made a priority during his time leading the agency. Under Gottlieb, federal health regulators have been implementing initiatives to crack down on e-cigarette makers in an effort to curb what the FDA's called "epidemic" teen vaping levels. Roughly 3.6 million middle and high school students reported that they were currently using vape products in 2018. It's also an issue that has interested Washington recently. Just this week, the Trump administration's 2020 budget included a request for a new user fee on e-cigarettes to bolster the FDA's efforts. The draft guidance from the FDA will be open for public comment for 30 days before it's finalized. Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.
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