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Tags: e | cigarettes | vapingproducts | federaltaskforce

Federal Task Force Formed to Combat Illegal E-Cigarettes

By    |   Monday, 10 June 2024 04:31 PM EDT

The Department of Justice and Food and Drug Administration joined forces to create a multi-agency federal task force to crack down on the unlawful sale and distribution of disposable vaping devices that are popular among teenagers.

The FDA and DOJ will partner with the Marshals Service, Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Postal Inspection Service.

The formation of the task force comes two days before a Senae Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Combating the Youth Vaping Epidemic by Enhancing Enforcement Against Illegal E-Cigarettes." It also comes after the FDA rescinded its marketing ban on Juul Labs on Thursday, opening the door to possible authorization of its products.

The reversal comes nearly two years after the agency ordered the company's e-cigarettes and vaping products to be taken off the market. The company has long claimed its products can be used as tools to stop smoking cigarettes.

The task force will investigate and prosecute new criminal, civil, seizure, and forfeiture actions under the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009; the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; and other authorities. Violations can result in felony convictions and significant criminal fines and civil monetary penalties.

The FDA's 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that about 2.1 million youth reported they currently use e-cigarettes, down from 5.3 million in 2019. But 10% of high school students and almost 5% of middle school students reported they currently use e-cigarettes, and more than one in four reported daily e-cigarette use.

"Unauthorized e-cigarettes and vaping products continue to jeopardize the health of Americans — particularly children and adolescents — across the country," acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer said in a news release. "This interagency task force is dedicated to protecting Americans by combating the unlawful sale and distribution of these products. And the establishment of this task force makes clear that vigorous enforcement of the tobacco laws is a government-wide priority."

Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers market a wide range of products that appeal directly to school-age users, such as candy and fruit flavors, some of which come in devices designed to be easily concealed. Even though the FDA has banned most fruit- and mint-flavored e-cigarettes, products continue to flow into the U.S. and available for purchase.

"Enforcement against illegal e-cigarettes is a multi-pronged issue that necessitates a multi-pronged response," Brian King, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said in the news release. "This 'All Government' approach – including the creation of this new task force – will bring the collective resources and experience of the federal government to bear on this pressing public health issue."

The FDA has authorized the sale of 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices and has issued more than 1,100 warning letters to manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers for illegally selling and/or distributing unauthorized new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The Department of Justice and Food and Drug Administration joined forces to create a multi-agency federal task force to crack down on the unlawful sale and distribution of disposable vaping devices that are popular among teenagers.
e, cigarettes, vapingproducts, federaltaskforce
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2024-31-10
Monday, 10 June 2024 04:31 PM
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