FDA commissioner to warn Weston students about vaping
Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb will be speaking Friday to Weston students about the “dangers of vaping,” the school district said this week in a letter to parents.
Gottlieb was a Westport resident when President Donald Trump tapped him to run the FDA last year. He used to work as an internist at Stamford Hospital. In a statement Tuesday, however, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Gottlieb would be stepping down in a month after nearly two years leading the agency.
“Last fall he was directly responsible for creating the regulations that limited the company Juul (and others) from advertising to kids, changing the packaging that targets kids like cotton candy flavors with cartoon characters on them, and cracking down on stores that sell vaping products to kids under 18,” according to a flyer sent to parents.
Gottlieb has been very vocal on the issue.
“I will not allow a generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes,” he said when the flavor rules were proposed. “We won’t let this pool of kids, a pool of future potential smokers, of future disease and death, to continue to build.”
Vaping is very popular among high school-aged students, according to a 2018 study released by the National Institutes for Health.
That study showed 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting “any vaping” in the past 12 months, compared to just 27.8 percent in 2017.
“Teens are clearly attracted to the marketable technology and flavorings seen in vaping devices; however, it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health; the development of the teen brain; and the potential for addiction,” said Nora D. Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.