With a few weeks left as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Wednesday moved to restrict sales of flavored e-cigarettes to try to reduce the rate of teenage vaping.
The agency issued a proposal requiring stores to sequester flavored e-cigarettes to areas off limits to anyone younger than 18. Retailers, including convenience stores and gas stations, will be expected to verify the age of their customers.
The rate of teenage vaping has risen sharply in the past few years, with 3.6 million middle and high school students reporting that they had vaped last year, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teenage smoking continues to be at record lows, a pattern that public health experts warn could be reversed if nicotine addiction spurred by vaping leads young people to traditional tobacco products.
Last fall, the FDA began a crackdown on teenage vaping.