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FDA considers new regulations for high-tech, anti-teen vaping software

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on an anti-vaping rampage which includes multiple accusations against companies like Juul and Atria for allegedly engaging in kid-appealing marketing practices.  In a September 12 press release, FDA officials announced that some 1,100 warning letters were recently sent to individual vape shops and online retailers suspected of selling to underage teens.  Another 131 repeat offenders were also issued civil fines.

Meanwhile, five major manufacturers of vaping gear - Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic 60 – were notified to respond to a new FDA probe regarding teen vaping prevention.  According to a recent report in Fortune, the Juul company may have a high-tech solution to the problem, and the FDA is even considering fast-tracking the idea as a new regulatory requirement.   

“I think if someone came to us with a good idea about how a product could be modified to be less appealing to kids or less prone to misuse by children, we’d be very interested in that product, and we’d be very interested in having a discussion around that and how we could put that through an efficient regulatory process,” Gottlieb told CNBC.

The Juul proposal involves the pairing of an age-verification smartphone app with all vaping devices.  The app would theoretically shut off whenever the vaping device strays too far from the linked cell phone.  The app could also be designed to disengage whenever the vaping device travels in close proximity to certain pre-defined venues, such as high schools and middle schools.

Other high-tech solutions might include biometric scanning of fingerprints or eye retinas, but the Juul age-identification software might be a less costly alternative – both for adult vapers and for manufacturers in the vaping industries. 

Related Article:  Are FDA-required biometric vaporizers the next frontier in vaping?

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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