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Senator Hassan Presses FDA Official on Delay in Banning Flavored E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, Senator Maggie Hassan pressed the Director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Mitch Zeller, on the FDA’s delayed response in banning flavored e-cigarettes, which have been linked to a rise in youth e-cigarette use. According to a recently released report from the Center for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey, New Hampshire has the highest percentage of high school students in the nation reporting daily use of e-cigarettes.


See below for coverage highlights:


Union Leader: New Hampshire has highest rate of teen vaping

By Josie Albertson-Grove


New Hampshire high school students vape more than teens anywhere else in the country, according to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Four percent of high school students in New Hampshire vape at least once a day, according to the most recent available Youth Risk Behavior Survey, from 2017 — higher than the national rate of 2.4%.


[…] In Washington on Thursday, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., pointed out the high rate of e-cigarette and vape use in New Hampshire at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing. She was one of several senators questioning the Food and Drug Administration’s Mitch Zeller, who serves as the Director of the Center for Tobacco Products.


Hassan asked Zeller about what the FDA could do to ban flavored vape liquid — she said she worried e-cigarette makers could just rename their flavors to get around the ban, and expressed concern that vape manufacturers like Juul could be influencing how the FDA regulates the e-cigarette industry. In particular, she said she worried about flavored products that appeal to children.


The FDA is crafting a policy to get “unauthorized” e-cigarette liquids off the market, after the liquids were linked to lung ailments across the country. Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., are among the members of Congress calling for an all-out ban of flavored e-cigarette liquid, including mint and menthol.


[…] In the hearing Thursday, Hassan said she worried about the ability of vape-using teenagers to quit using nicotine. Nationwide, 5 million teens vape or use e-cigarettes, according to the CDC.


CNBC: Trump Administration Wavers on Ban of Flavored E-Cigarettes, FDA Official Says ‘No Final Answer’ Now

By Angelica LaVito


… A top Food and Drug Administration official wavered Wednesday on whether the Trump administration will follow through with its ban of flavored e-cigarettes, telling lawmakers there is “no final answer” right now.


… The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday grilled Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, about when they might expect to see the ban or whether one even exists anymore. Zeller repeatedly referred questions to the White House, prompting frustration and at times visible anger from some senators.


… Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., expressed her frustration with the delay.


“I understand the deliberative process argument, but let me be clear, what you are hearing from everybody up here is that we have children who are getting hooked on these products,” she said. “There has been a lot of delay. We are looking for a strategy, and we are looking for you guys to move through your deliberations. You’ve had plenty of time already, and kids, people, Americans all over this country, are being hurt.”