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Attorney General Josh Stein Calls on FDA to Regulate E-Cigarettes and Other Non-Tobacco Nicotine Products

For Immediate Release:
Friday, June 10, 2022

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reject marketing authorization for e-cigarettes containing synthetic nicotine and all non-tobacco synthetic nicotine products, which are currently being sold without regulatory constraints on their contents, manufacturing, health effects or marketing claims. A new law signed in March gives the FDA jurisdiction to regulate these products and requires that manufacturers now seek FDA approval to sell them.

“E-cigarettes containing synthetic nicotine and other synthetic nicotine products are putting our kids’ health at risk,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The FDA has the power to do more to protect them, and I hope it takes action to prohibit manufacturers and retailers from marketing and selling to young people, using youth-friendly flavors, and putting exorbitant amounts of nicotine in these products, especially because we don’t yet know how dangerous these products are. I appreciate that the FDA has started taking some steps, but it must do more to rein in this industry and keep our kids safe.”

Manufacturers use chemicals to create synthetic nicotine products, but we don’t have a full understanding of how those chemicals impact people’s health. Still, they are available with fewer sale restrictions than the FDA requires for tobacco products, and young people are using them at alarming rates because they like the fruit and dessert flavors. Because there are currently fewer rules about synthetic nicotine products, more companies are switching from making and selling tobacco products to synthetic products.

Attorney General Stein has been leading the fight to prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to nicotine. He filed the first state lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturer Juul in May 2019 for aggressively marketing their products to young people and misrepresenting the dangers of the nicotine in e-cigarettes. As a result of his lawsuit, North Carolina was the first state to secure a consent judgment against Juul that requires major changes to its marketing and sales practices to protect young people and a $40 million payment to address teen addiction.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nebraska, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A copy of the letter is available here.


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