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FDA chief hints dialogue with e-cigarette CEOs over teenage vaping

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a series of tweets Dec. 27 that he plans to hold talks with CEOs of e-cigarette makers amid what he calls an "epidemic" of e-cigarette use among teenagers.

In his tweets, Gottlieb suggested that some companies appear to be backing away from the commitments they have made to the FDA in relation to the prevention of underage use of e-cigarettes.

"I'm writing CEOs of e-cig manufacturers asking them to meet to discuss commitments they made last month, and why some are changing course," Gottlieb said in one tweet.

The FDA required five e-cigarette manufacturers — Juul Labs Inc., Japan Tobacco Inc., Altria Group Inc., Imperial Brands PLC and British American Tobacco PLC to submit plans on how they intend to address e-cigarette use by minors.

Gottlieb also said that the agency's investigation into the vaping industry's marketing activities and other product-related issues continues.

The FDA began its crackdown on illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors in September, and has threatened to pull e-cigarettes from the market if the devices were found to be marketed outside the agency's rules.

In October, it announced plans to confine the sale of e-cigarette products to vape shops. The agency is also said to be considering a limit on online sales until manufacturers implement FDA-mandated guidelines for age verification.