Simplifying Science

Vape Update--I’m Fuming

For the past couple of years, the FDA has been threatening to swing hard at e-cigarette companies that manufacture and market products designed to lure kids. Threatened being the operative word. FDA commissioner Scott Gottleib has promised for months to come down hard on these companies, recognizing the toxic combination of high-dose nicotine in a product aimed squarely at kids. Like many other pediatricians, I have ranted about the egregiousness of the vape manufacturers, especially Juul, and sung Gottleib’s praises. But instead of cracking down, Gottleib is packing up. He recently announced his impending departure from the agency, and just this week he outlined how things will go as he transitions out. I have not been shy in my praise of this guy, and now I won’t be shy about my disappointment: the plans are weak and toothless, with little promise of making a dent in this growing health epidemic. So, what’s the solution? Turn to the kids, of course.

Teen vaping is on the rise, and schools are searching for solutions, with some taking disciplinary action or installing vape detectors in bathrooms.

Still, the problem has continued to swell. The US Food and Drug Administration announced in November that vaping had increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year before. The resignation announcement of the agency's commissioner -- Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who vowed to crack down on what he described as an...READ MORE