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image: Elizabeth Renstrom / TIME

FDA Announces Crackdown on Walgreens, 14 Other National Retailers Selling E-Cigarettes to Kids

March 5, 2019

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday announced a renewed effort to hold retailers accountable for selling e-cigarettes to kids and teenagers, as part of its ongoing campaign against youth vaping.

E-cigarettes are not legally available to anyone younger than 18 in the U.S. Nonetheless, youth use is a prevalent issue in the U.S., with 37% of high school seniors saying they had vaped in 2018. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has called vaping among teenagers an “epidemic,” pointing to health risks such as nicotine addiction and later use of combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products, and has been vocal about the need to keep e-cigarettes out of kids’ hands — in part by targeting retailers who fail to follow the law.

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