More than 3 million high school students, or more than 20 percent of all USA high school students, used the products, along with 570,000 middle school students, according to the survey. Other fruity- or sweet-flavored varieties can now only be sold at age-restricted stores or through online merchants that use age-verification checks.
Food and Drug Administration says e-cigarette use among youth has hit epidemic proportions; reaction from Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU's Langone Medical Center and a Fox News contributor. That is not striking a balance, since it could justify removing e-cigarettes from the market entirely, which would prevent teenagers from using them but also prevent smokers from switching to them, resulting in more smoking-related morbidity and mortality. The FDA now bans sales of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to those under 18.
Gottlieb's proposal for e-cigarette flavorings also exempts menthol.
A large majority of adolescent vapers presumably are using Juul e-cigarettes, which account for more than 70 percent of the market.
"I don't want to create a situation where the combustible products have features that make them more attractive than the non-combustible products".
This year 20.8 percent reported past-month vaping, more than two and a half times the percentage who reported past-month cigarette smoking in last year's survey. But after an aggressive lobbying effort by tobacco companies, menthol was exempted. Smoking rates among teenagers have continued to decline as e-cigarette use has surged, and that may be more than a coincidence.
Cigarette smoking was more common than vaping among high school students until 2014.
The new rules on e-cigarette flavors mean that numerous sweet and fruity varieties believed to be most popular among minors will only be available in stores such as vape shops or tobacco shops that do not allow under-age people inside.More news: Withings Pulse HR fitness tracker boasts big battery life
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The cigarette smoking rate is even lower among high school students - about 9 percent, according to the latest figures.
The FDA has been taken earlier steps to investigate the marketing of e-cigarettes by a number of companies, including the market leader, Juul Labs Inc. of a San Francisco.
Getting out ahead of the FDA announcement, Juul on Tuesday stopped filling store orders for mango, fruit, creme and cucumber pods and will resume sales only to retailers that scan IDs and take other steps to verify a buyer is at least 21.
Chicago: Just days after the U.S. city of Chicago took eight online retailers to court for illegally selling e-cigarettes to underage residents, federal agencies confirmed astonishing increases in nationwide youth use of e-cigarettes.
On one hand, we can be pretty confident that some adults will continue to smoke or return to smoking as a result of the FDA's restrictions and will therefore face more disease and shorter lives.
"We're really pleased that the FDA is taking action on menthol and on flavors in little cigars", Koval said. About 3.6 million kids and teenagers in the USA vape, the FDA says.
The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.