>> The US Food and Drug administration announcing Thursday sweeping new restrictions on flavored e-cigarrettes as use among teens skyrockets. Data released Thursday showed a near 80% increase in high schoolers vaping since last year and a 50% rise among middle schoolers. The startling data prompting the FDA to propose restrictions on the sale of sweet-flavored e-cigarettes for most traditional retail outlets like convenience stores, making those enticing flavors harder for teens to buy.
Reuter's correspondent Chris Kirkham is on the story.>> So the FDA says they're gonna be closely monitoring teen usage, and if it doesn't go downm they said they may look at a wider flavor ban.>> For the time being, tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarette flavors can still be sold as usual.
But sweet flavored varieties will only be available at age restricted stores or through websites that use age verification checks.>> And a lot of the anti-tobacco groups, and a lot of public health groups that are concerned about teenage use of this are definitely watching closely to see if really these online age verification processes can work.
Teenagers are pretty crafty when they wanna get their hands on something that they like and that adults tell them they shouldn't be using.>> Anticipating the FDA's annoucement, JUUL said this week, it would stop selling popular flavors like mango, and cucumber in stores.>> JUUL has the most to lose here, they've really rocketed it up in terms of market share over the last year.
If these measures are effective in reducing kids, and it turns out that kids were a huge part of JUUL's market, they could see some declines in business.>> The FDA also targeting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, two tobacco products that disporportionally harm African Americans. It's said, it would seek to ban both of those products.